Assam budget: First e-budget with no fresh tax presented by Minister Sarma

PTI Guwahati | Updated on March 12, 2018

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (left) with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal display the tablets containing the state budget 2018-19 documents on their arrival at the Assam Legislative Assembly (ALA), in Guwahati on Monday.   -  PTI

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today presented the state’s first e-budget with a deficit of Rs 2149.04 crore in the Assembly here proposing no fresh taxes.

“After Andhra Pradesh, Assam has become the second state to have an e-budget, but unlike the other state, Assam budget is available in Google Play Store so that anybody can access it,” Sarma said.

The budget proposed a levy of electricity duty at 5 per cent on ad-valorem basis and one per cent increase on stamp duty registration fee for transactions in immovable properties. “The estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs 999.99 crore. This, together with the opening deficit of Rs 3149.04 crore will lead to a budget deficit of Rs 2149.04 crore at the end of the year 2018–2019,” said Sarma in the BJP–led Sarbananda Sonowal Government’s third budget.

The budget estimates of 2018–19 show a receipt of Rs 90673.42 crore under the Consolidated Fund and Out of this, Rs 74118.50 crore is on Revenue Account and the remaining Rs 16554.92 crore is under Capital Account.

The budget was presented in both hard copy format and in the digital format in tablet computer to the legislators in the House, the minister said. “We have taken great steps in making this budget future ready, citizen friendly and all embracing through our e-budget model that has easy to use provisions of SDG (sustainable development goal), gender, child and elderly related,” Sarma said in his speech.

The finance minister also proposed to increase the tender fee from Rs 8.25 to Rs 100 for tenders up to Rs 20 lakh and Rs 500 for tenders beyond Rs 20 Lakh. Regarding relief to small tea growers, he proposed to exempt specified land cess on green tea leaves. In the previous two budgets, the cess had been reduced from 25 paise to 10 paise per kg green tea leaf in two phases.

Talking to reporters, Sarma said, the budget speech was streamed live on Twitter and Facebook. Media persons covering the budget session were provided the budget speech in a pen drive.

Published on March 12, 2018

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