Himachal assembly passes Rs 16,270 crore annual budget

Shimla: The Himachal Vidhan Sabha today passed the budget of Rs 16270.74 crore for 2010-11 after having discussed the demands for police, irrigation and public health, public works, health and education, but not before applying the guillotine on the others.

Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal presented the HP Appropriation Bill, 2010 for voting in the afternoon that was passed with thumping of desks from the treasury benches.

The gross budget amount passed included Rs 12,989.39 crore that was voted for and Rs 3281.35 crore that is charged on the consolidated fund and is passed without any discussion and is not voted upon.

Of the Rs 16,270.74 crore budget, Rs 1191.82 crore are accounting book transfers shown as recoveries, which leaves out an amount of Rs 15078.92 crores net budget that was presented by chief minister on 12th of March.

The net budget approved also includes borrowings of Rs 2272.80 crore to meet the year’s expenditures.

Bereft of major sops but to mobilize resources, the budget passed today increased VAT of many items from 4 % to 5% (percent). However to contain rising prices of food items, VAT on edible oil, food grains and other essential goods items has been exempted for any increase during the year.

Other measures to augment resources includes imposing entry tax of 4 to 7 percent on diesel and other industrial oils, tobacco items and construction materials that are bought outside the state. A bill to the effect was introduced on Wednesday, itself.

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