No new taxes in Tripura budget, sales tax on fuel cut

June 6th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, June 6 (IANS) Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury Friday presented a tax-free Rs.52.48-billion budget with a deficit of Rs.760 million for the current fiscal. The minister also announced a cut in sales tax on petrol and diesel. The budget, presented on the first day of the three-week session of the assembly, proposed a substantial increase of Rs.17.63 billion - from Rs.13 billion last year - for creation of infrastructure and permanent assets in the land-locked northeastern state.

The budget, which is higher by Rs.9.7 billion compared to the revised budget of 2007-08, anticipated growth of state’s tax revenue in the current fiscal to increase by 18.3 percent.

“The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government would take more steps for modernisation of the security forces to curb tribal militancy in the state,” said Chowdhury.

The minister announced generation of 325,000 man days for the rural unemployed while more than 5,000 educated youths would be covered under the self-employment programmes.

“Gradual removal of poverty, improving quality of life with special focus on the poor and downtrodden, and generation of employment within limited resources are the main objectives of the budget,” Chowdhury said in his one-and-a-half-hour-long budget speech.

Taking a cue from various states across the country, the government also slashed sales tax on petrol and diesel.

“We have decided to reduce sales tax on petrol from 20 percent to 15 percent and on diesel to 10 percent from the existing 12.5 percent,” Chowdhury announced in the assembly after presenting the budget.

“In view of the sales tax cut, petrol would cost Rs.2.40 less per litre while diesel price has been slashed by 75 paise per litre.”

The government had been earning revenue of Rs.500 million per annum as tax from the petroleum products.

“After the reduction of sales tax, the state government would incur a loss of Rs.70 million annually,” Chowdhury added.

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