Rs 382 cr deficit budget presented in Meghalaya

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Monday presented a Rs 382 crore deficit budget for 2012-13 with a proposal for an increase in levy on alcohol and tobacco as measures to generate additional revenue for the state.

The fiscal deficit of Rs 382 crore is around 2.06 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), marking a 37 crore reduction as compared to that of 2010-11.

The Chief Minister tabled a plan budget of Rs 3535 crore, the actual size of which would be finalized shortly in consultation with the Planning Commission.

Sangma, who holds the finance portfolio, proposed to introduce ad volarem levy and increase VAT on liquor in addition to a proposed enhancement in licence fees.

"VAT on tobacco and tobacco products will also be increased from Rs 12.5 to Rs 13.5 per cent besides a plan to include beedi in the tax net by way of amendment of the appropriate schedule," he said.

The Chief Minister proposed to raise the ceiling in the rate of professional tax with the Centre and by amendment of Article 276 (2) of the Constitution.

"These measures are expected to generate additional revenue to the tune of Rs 12 crore," he said.

According to the Chief Minister, the total receipts in 2012-13 is estimated to be Rs 6999 crore excluding borrowings and other liabilities.