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WB govt tables vote-on-account for Aug, Sep

Last Updated: Friday, June 24, 2011 - 19:36

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Friday
tabled a vote-on-account of Rs 11,165 crore to meet the
expenditure requirements for August and September, 2011.

The vote-on-account was placed in the assembly by Finance
Minister Amit Mitra.
He said that in the earlier vote-on-account passed by
former finance minister Asim Dasgupta till July 2011, the
state`s revenue projections had been highly exaggerated and
expenditure depressed in the annual financial statement (AFS).

In the last AFS, the revenue growth was projected at 39
per cent growth, which was almost "mythical and divorced from
reality", he said

The focus, in the new AFS, would be on social and
physical infrastructure, human development and neglected
regions of the state.

Mitra said that the new AFS has been based on the
preliminary estimates provided by the CAG for 2010-11.
He further stated that the state has already increased
its share by more than Rs 2,200 crore with the view to avail
higher quantum of matching funds from the central government.

As per reports of the Planning Commission, 20,000 schools
in the state did not have toilets for girl students and 57,000
kitchen shades had not been built for mid-day meals, he said.

Later, Mitra told reporters that it had not been possible
to table a full-fledged budget due to lack of time.

Presentation of a full-fledged budget takes a minimum
of three to four months, while the government is just over a
month old, Mitra said, adding the full budget would be placed
upon directions of the Chief Minister as she was already in
talks with the Centre for getting additional financial

"We are expecting the Centre`s help to synergise with
the state`s expectations," he said.

To a query, he said the government was working on to
raise tax buoyancy.

"Raising tax rates merely is not required to raise
revenues. Improving compliance is also another way", he said.

The chief minister has already said the tax reforms
would be made to increase compliance.

Mitra said the state had lost to the extent of Rs 3,157
crore from the Centre for failing to pass the FRBM Act on

Given the size of the state`s GDP, the borrowing capacity
is Rs 17,800 crore, out of which Rs 8,000 crore has already
been raised from open market operations, he said.


First Published: Friday, June 24, 2011 - 19:36
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