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No fresh taxes proposed in surplus Gujarat Budget
February, 24th 2007
Tax relief worth Rs 400 cr given; electricity gets big relief

Power relief For rural households, recognised educational institutions and village hostels reduced from 15 pc to 10 pc. In the urban areas, reduced from 30 pc to 20 pc for consumption of more than 40 units for residential and educational institution purposes.
The Gujarat Finance Minister, Mr Vajubhai Vala, on Friday tabled the 2007-08 Budget proposals in the Vidhan Sabha here, levying no fresh taxes in the election year and giving tax rebates totalling Rs 400 crore to woo mainly the villagers, small traders and the self-employed, leaving an overall deficit of Rs 70.42 crore at the end of the fiscal.

He said while the new year's Budget has a revenue surplus of Rs 1,650 crore, considering the tax benefits and so on, the fiscal is estimated to end with a deficit of Rs 70.42 crore. This, he said, the State Government would strive to cover through various economic and administrative measures. Presenting the Budget for a record 12th time, the Minister announced the biggest chunk of this relief, Rs 223 crore, by way of reduced electricity duty for different sections of society. The second largest relief was in stamp duty, Rs 126 crore, followed by registration fee (Rs 47 crore) and entertainment and luxury tax (Rs 4 crore).

Electricity duty for rural households, recognised educational institutions and village hostels has been reduced from 15 per cent to 10 per cent. In the urban areas, it has been reduced from 30 per cent to 20 per cent for consumption of more than 40 units for residential and educational institution purposes. Similarly, electricity duty relief to the tune of Rs 53 crore have been provided to small traders and self-employed people.

A total of 95 lakh consumers will benefit from this relief measures in electricity duty as the maximum rate of electricity duty has been reduced from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

Unlike the revenue deficits of Rs 4,036 crore and Rs 398 crore in 2004-05 and 2005-06, respectively, the budget estimates for 2006-07 and 2007-08 have shown revenue surplus, to the tune of Rs 1,802 crore and Rs 1,650 crore, respectively, Mr Vala said in his speech. The size of the Eleventh Five Year Plan for Gujarat has been fixed at Rs 1 lakh crore compared with Rs 47,000 crore for the Tenth Plan. For 2007-08, the Annual Plan for Rs 15,506 crore has a provision of Rs 6,265 crore for social services, thus, earmarking 40 per cent of total allocation for drinking water, primary education, housing, healthcare and nutrition.

Considering assistance to be provided by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for earthquake relief works, a provision of Rs 548 crore has been under the head of Gujarat Disaster Management Authority.

In the new year's Budget, among others, a provision of Rs 495 crore has been made towards works to be undertaken against natural calamities.

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