The Gujarat government on Tuesday presented a modified budget for the year 2019-20 with an overall surplus of Rs 572 crore, even as the State Finance Minister Nitin Patel proposed additional tax income of Rs 287 crore.

Earlier, in February this year, ahead of the General Elections, the state government had presented a vote-on-account with gross surplus estimates of Rs 12,241 crore without any tax proposals.

Historic budget

On the first day of the monsoon session beginning Tuesday, Patel presented his seventh budget as finance minister, with a budget size of Rs 2,04,815 crore for the year 2019-20, which has created history in itself. "This is a historical moment for the state as it is the first time since the formation of the state that a budget size of over Rs 2 lakh crore has been presented in this house."

In the modified budget, Patel estimated revenue receipts of Rs 1,54,732 crore, and revenue expenditure of Rs 1,51,858 crore for the year 2019-20. Capital receipts are estimated at Rs 43,215 crore, while capital expenditure, including loans and advances is estimated at Rs 51,004 crore.

The Budget, Patel said, focused mainly on five sectors, including water management, green and clean energy, the environment, agriculture and farmers’ welfare, and employment.

Clean energy in focus

Patel promised that the state government would spend about Rs 20,000 crore over the next three years to ensure that no household in Gujarat was left without tapped drinking water. In the clean energy space, the state plans to increase its installed capacity to 30,000 megawatt (Mw) by 2022, from 8885 MW currently. Of this, the state plans to sell 10,000 MW to other states. In order to encourage roof-top solar power generation, a subsidy of 40 per cent for up to 3 Kw systems and 20 per cent for capacity in the range of 3-10 Kw has been announced. This is aimed at covering 2 lakh families under roof-top solar projects, currently about 50,000 families have roof-top solar facilities.

The budget speech promised power to all 1.25 lakh pending agricultural power connection requests over the next one year.

The Finance Minister also informed the house that under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Yojana rolled-out by the Centre, subsidy worth Rs 1,131 crore had already been disbursed as the first two instalments to 28 lakh farmers of the state.

Robust state growth

Patel further said the economy of the state has achieved impressive growth of 10 per cent (at constant rates) during the last six years, which was the highest among the major states. Keeping up a high growth rate, the economy has achieved 11.2 per cent growth in 2017-18.

In his tax proposals, Patel proposed to increase the electricity duty on industrial units consuming captive power. Patel also proposed to hike the stamp duty, which is charged at a fixed rate on the instruments, while those having ad-valorem charges were kept unchanged.