Bengal budget targets 16 percent increase in tax collection
West Bengal's budget for 2014-15 Monday envisaged a 16 percent increase in its own tax collection, and provided high allocations for departments like panchayats, rural development and minority affairs in an election year.
The budget presented by Finance Minister Amit Mitra fixed the target for the state's own tax collection for 2014-15 at Rs.45,413.96 crore, as against the revised estimate of Rs.39,100 crore in 2013-14.
In 2013-14, the state's own tax collections grew nearly 19 percent, from the figure of Rs. 32,808 crore in the previous year.
With a net deficit at Rs.9 crore, Mitra provided Rs.30,847.31 crore for the state plan outlay for the coming year as against the current year's outlay of Rs.26,674 crore, an increase of 15.65 percent.
The revenue deficit stood at Rs.12,069.22 crore, and the fiscal defict at Rs.21,892 crore, as per the revised estimates for 2013-14.
The allocation for the panchayat and rural development saw a massive 149 percent increase, while that of the minority affairs and madrasah education went up by 102 percent for the coming fiscal.
The budget raised the tax exemption limit of profession tax to Rs.8,500 per month, and the exemption limit for professionals to Rs.60,000 per year, as against Rs.18,000 so far.
While now an additional one percent stamp duty is charged on all properties whose market value exceed Rs.25 lakh, Mitra proposed an upward revision from Rs.25 lakh to Rs.30 lakh. Property owners will now have to pay stamp duty of 6 percent on all properties of market value upto Rs. 30 lakhs instead of seven percent.
Mitra also lowered the interest rate on delayed payment of stamp duty from two per cent to one per cent.
(Posted on 17-02-2014)