Dhumal rains sops in election year budget

Shimla : Making the longest budget speech in the history of Himachal Pradesh and as expected chief minister P.K.Dhumal presented a populist budget here late Monday .

The total budget expenditure estimate for the next fiscal year is Rs 20,243 crore . Rs 6285 crore will be spent on salaries , Rs 2784 crore on pensions.

Estimated interest payments will be Rs 2249 crore and loan repayments around Rs 1937 crore .

As per budget estimates , against an expenditure of every 100 rupees, the state will have Rs 80.73 as total revenue receipts including transfers from the Centre .The gap of Rs 19.27 will have to be met by borrowings .

Out of 100 rupees spent salaries will account for a whopping Rs 31 , pensions Rs 14 , interest payments Rs 11 , loan repayments for Rs 10 and the remaining 35 per cent or so will be spent on developmental works .

The GSDP growth rate in the next fiscal year is expected to be 7.6 per cent which is higher than the national estimate of 6.9 per cent .

Milk procurement price has been increased by one rupee .
The rate of VAT on sweetmeats and milk products has been reduced from 13.5 to 5 per cent .

VAT on cigarette and tobacco products is proposed to be increased from 16 to 18 per cent and on Bidi from 9.75 to 11 per cent .

To promote tourism in the remote tribal regions of the state new hotels in these areas will be exempt from payment of luxury tax for a period of ten years .

Minimum wage rate of daily wagers in the government is to be raised from Rs 120 to Rs 130 .

New aerial ropeways to be exempted from payment of entertainment tax for five years , and rate of tax on existing ropeways has been reduced from 25 to 10 per cent .

MLA local area development fund has been increased from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh and they will now be authorized to sanction schemes anywhere within the district .

Seven per cent DA is to be released to employess along with current month’s salary and arrears from July ,2011 with the salary of April, 2012 .

Pensioners to be released 7 per cent DA along with arrears and also the pay revision arrears in April 2012 in cash .

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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