Bengal finance minister presents vote on account

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Kolkata, Feb 26 (IANS) West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Friday presented a vote-on-account projecting a deficit of Rs.8 crore and proposing to provide Rs.57,905 crore for the annual plan outlay of 2016-17, about 17 percent more that in the previous plan outlay.

No new schemes were announced or fresh taxes levied.

“To meet the plan commitment of 2016-17, I propose to provide Rs.57,905 crore for the state plan outlay. This is 16.96 percent increase over the last year,” he said in the assembly.

“This budget proposes no new tax and announcement of no new scheme, this year being an election year. This is allocation for the full year and vote-on-accounts for four months on the expenditure the government will incur till new government is in place,” he said.

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The finance minister claimed that the Gross Value Added count of the state has grown by 12.02 percent as against the national growth figure of 7.3 percent, while the capital expenditure went up six times from Rs.2.225.75 crore to Rs.15,946.9 crore in the last five years.

The plan expenditure rose over three times from Rs.14,165.16 crore in 2010-11 to Rs.49,956.54 crore in 2015-16.

Mitra said for 2016-17, the budgeted total receipts were Rs 1,59,570.68 crore, and the expenditure Rs 1,59,573.68 crore.

The state tax revenue, however, was lower in the revised budget for 2015-16 that what was proposed in the original budget document. While the revised budget figure stood at Rs.42,919.66 crore, the budgeted amount was Rs.46,496.82 crore.

Mitra said the state’s debt burden has gone up to Rs.3.04 lakh crore in the revised budgetary figure, as against the Rs.2.99 lakh core projected in the 2015-16 budget.

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