TN Budget 2012: Proposal for 14.5% tax on liquor

The Tamil Nadu government has proposed 14.5 per cent tax on liquor as part of efforts to generate Rs 1,500 crore revenue.

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has proposed 14.5 per cent tax on liquor as part of efforts to generate Rs 1,500 crore revenue.

The 2012-13 budget, presented by state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam in the assembly, put the government`s total debt at the end of next fiscal at Rs 1,35,060.47 crore, 19.6 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and less than Finance Commission stipulation of 24.8 per cent as regards Debt-GSDP ratio.

According to the budget estimates for 2012-13, Revenue receipts are projected at Rs 1,00,589.92 crore and the revenue expenditure was estimated as Rs 98,213.85 crore.

"The state will have a sizeable revenue surplus of Rs 2,376.07 crore in the coming financial year. The total allocation for capital expenditure will be Rs 20,856.08 crore
and the total provision for loans and advances will be Rs 1,352.12 crore.

Thus, the fiscal deficit will be Rs 19,832.13 crore, which would constitute 2.87 percent of the GSDP," he said.

The government proposed to borrow "only Rs 18,387.47 crore," though the total borrowing entitlement given by the Centre is Rs 20,716 crore.

In order to implement welfare programmes, the government had taken up various steps for further revenue mobilisation, he noted.

Alcoholic liquor of all kinds purchased, procured and brought outside from the state, other than foreign liquor, under certain sections of the TNVAT Act, will be taxed at the rate of 14.5 per cent at the second point of sale, he said.

Panneerselvam said, "The exemption granted from VAT (Value Added Tax) on vegetable oil for the turnover up to Rs 5 crore per year will be withdrawn to prevent tax evasion and VAT will be levied at the rate of five per cent on sale of such vegetable oil."

Proposing to rationalise the tax rates on tourist taxis, maxi cabs, private service vehicles, spare stage carriers, construction equipment vehicles and other state contract carriers, he also announced doubling the charges collected for blocking of fancy numbers.

Revised Guideline Value will be come into force with effect from April 1, 2012 as its non-implementation had resulted in "huge" revenue loss. However, stamp duty will be reduced from six to five percent, Panneerselvam added.

Announcing an increase in levy of Infrastructure and Amenities charges collected through local planning authorities by 50 per cent, he said "all these measures for additional resource mobilisation will improve the revenue position of the state government by about Rs 1,500 crore," which will be used to fund welfare and developmental programmes.

However, he announced VAT exemption for wheat and oats and a duty cut on e-bikes, sanitary napkins and diapers, CFL bulbs, insulin, hand-made locks and helmets.

Holding that periodic revision in tariffs was important for survival of PSUs, he said a government that fails to take such measures fearing unpopularity caused harm to the system and people.

In an apparent reference to government hiking bus fares and milk prices last year, he said they were "tough measures like increasing tax rates and tariffs which our Chief Minister (J Jayalalithaa) had to take out of financial compulsion, albeit reluctantly."