No new taxes in Maharashtra’s feel-good budget

March 19th, 2008 - 8:56 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 19 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Wednesday presented a feel-good budget of Rs.25,000 crore (Rs.250 billion) for 2008-09, focusing on social as well as industrial sectors without imposing any additional tax burdens on the people. The budget presented by Finance Minister Jayant Patil allocated an additional Rs.1,400 crore (Rs.14 billion) for non-plan expenditure and the rest for planned expenditure.

To encourage air travel in state interiors, tax rate on ATF has been slashed from 25 percent to four percent when supplied to aircraft outside Mumbai and Pune.

In 2008-09 the government also plans to commence development of several airports, including those at Nagpur and at Shirdi, Sholapur, Amaravati, Jalgaon, Nanded and Latur.

The state announced bicycles would be provided free of cost to girl students in rural areas to promote education.

The government has also decided to construct one million houses for low and middle income group families under various schemes.

The finance minister said resources would be pulled from existing schemes of both the central and state government for the implementation of the programme.

Existing tax exemptions on essential commodities like food grain, cereals, pulses, turmeric and chillies have been extended till March 31, 2010.

There has been a reduction of tax on road transport passenger services from 17.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

The government has proposed to introduce a bill for imposing a tax on vacant land.

The finance minister also announced an e-payment gateway system via Internet for tax payments.

The state will generate a revenue of Rs.20,000 crore (Rs.200 billion) this year. There has been a surplus of Rs.2,981.96 crore (Rs.29.81 billion) for 2007-08 which is estimated to touch Rs.4,608.96 crore (Rs.46.08 billion) by 2008-09.

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