Jharkhand chief minister tables Rs.63502.69 crore tax-free budget

Ranchi, Feb 19 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Friday tabled in the assembly a Rs.63502.69 crore budget for financial year 2016-2017, which imposes no new taxes.

“This is a balanced budget. The special focus of the budget is rural development and agriculture. It will give direction to the development of the state,” Das told reporters later.

The budget has a plan component of Rs.37065.35 crore and a non-plan component of Rs.26,437.34 crore.

It has made special provisions for women, claimed the chief minister, terming them “gender budgeting”.

The budget allocates the largest chunk of the rupee to three areas: Education, Art, Culture and Sports receive 15.30 percent of a rupee, Rural Development gets 13.78 percent and Agriculture and Allied Activities get 9.04 percent.

The 18.59 percent of the money will come as Grant-in-Aid, 29.10 percent as the state’s share of central taxes, 26.85 percent as the state’s own taxes, 13.27 percent as the state’s non-tax resources, 12.13 percent as borrowings, and the remainder from other sources.

For the annual state plan of 2016-2017, agriculture comprises 12.80 percent of the total budget, education 13.51 percent, rural development 19.91 percent, road construction 10.91 percent and other departments the remainder.

The MLA’s Local Area Fund has been hiked from Rs.3 crore to Rs.4 crore per annum with the extra money to be used for irrigation purposes.

No new tax has been imposed.

The budget provides for setting up 100 ‘single window’ centres for farm extension services — one in each of the 100 blocks of the state.

The opposition criticised the budget.

“The budget is confused. Tall claims were made before the budget. But it has disappointed the people of the state,” Hemant Soren, the leader of opposition, told reporters.

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