No new taxes in Tamil Nadu’s revenue surplus budget

Chennai, March 21 (IANS) With no new taxes or hike in existing tax rates, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O.Panneerselvam Thursday presented a revenue surplus state budget for 2013-14 in the assembly.

He also announced the government’s plan to create a land bank of 25,000 acres for setting up of industries; setting up of a new ship building yard in Tuticorin by Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (TIDCO) under public-private partnership (PPP) model; development of Madurai-Tuticorin industrial corridor; and devising a special incentive package to attract investments in industrially backward southern districts in the state.
Presenting the budget for next fiscal, Panneerselvam said: “During 2013-14, we are projecting a revenue surplus of Rs.664.06 crore and a fiscal deficit of Rs.22,938.57 crore. This fiscal deficit will be 2.84 percent of Gross State Domestic Product, which is within the stipulated norm of three percent.”
He said the state would exceed the annual plan target of Rs.28,000 crore during the current fiscal and the allocation has been increased to Rs.37,000 crore for 2013-14.
Despite adverse factors like the slowdown in the economy and the drought affecting the primary and service sector, Panneerselvam said the budget was in line with the government’s goal of the steering the economy on the path of accelerated inclusive growth.
Panneerselvam said in the next fiscal the government would push for the development of Madurai-Tuticorin industrial corridor.
According to Panneerselvam, the Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme with assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will begin next fiscal to ease policy bottlenecks and correcting infrastructural inadequacies.
“This will facilitate the investment flow of around Rs.770 crore for investment in small and medium infrastructure projects over three years,” he said.
On the power front, Panneerselvam said works related to 660 MW at Ennore Thermal Power Station, 2×660 MW at Ennore-Special Economic Zone and at Udangudi for 2×660 MW at a total outlay of Rs.21,000 crore would begin next fiscal.
On the government’s free mixer-grinders and fans scheme, he said the plan was to distribute 3.5 million units next fiscal and Rs.1,500 crore has been allocated in the budget for that purpose.
He said Rs.250 crore has been provided to fund free distribution of 12,000 milch cows and 600,000 sheep and goats to 15,000 poor women.
Allocation of Rs.1,500 crore has been made for free distribution of 565,000 laptop computers to students next academic year, while Rs.381 crore has been provided towards cash incentive to 10th, 11th and 12th standard students to arrest the dropout rate.