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Vat may get a boost in state budget today
March, 18th 2013

The state government is eyeing value added tax (VAT) collection of Rs 55,000 crore in the 2013-2014 financial year in the budget which will be presented in the Assembly on Monday.

This will be the first time in the legislative history of the state that agriculture minister, Kanna Lakshminarayana, will read out the contents of a separate agriculture budget, the outlay for which is expected to be around Rs 34,000 crore.

VAT may fall short by Rs 4,000cr this year

The state’s finance managers claim that they have been looking for a “realistic” and “moderate” 20 per cent growth in VAT revenue compared to the current financial year’s target of Rs 45,000 crore.

But in reality, the targeted growth for the ensuing financial year will be around 26-28 per cent given that the revenue realisation has fallen nine per cent short of the present year’s target.

Official sources told this newspaper that VAT income till the end of February was about Rs 38,000 crore and even after including the expected Rs 3,000 crore in March, the department will still be short of Rs 4,000 crore. “It would have been ideal if the growth target is around 17 per cent,” sources pointed out.

The government’s second major revenue source — excise — is also facing difficulties in meeting targets. The 2012-2013 Budget targeted income from excise at Rs 10,820 crore and despite repeated increase in prices and tax structures, the revenue is still short of the target by Rs 1,000 crore, sources pointed out.

Finance managers have been more practical in fixing the targets for Stamps and Registration. Sources said a growth of 15 per cent over this year’s Rs 4,968 crore will be fixed for 2013-2014. As of now, the department has realised 96 per cent of the target. With people rushing for registrations in March, fearing an increase in market value from April 2013, the department could even cross the targeted income.

Sources said finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy will continue the tradition of presenting a jumbo Budget, expected to be around Rs 1.6 lakh crore, ignoring the ground reality of the government’s miserable failure in meeting plan expenditure targets.

Of the Rs 48,935 crore plan expenditure in the current financial year, the government was able to spend only Rs 30,000 crore till the first week of March, and is required to spend about Rs 1,000 crore every day by the end of this month, which the officials themselves admit is an impossible task.

In addition to the separate agriculture Budget, the government has decided to club the allocations for agriculture and allied sectors and irrigation in order to project a pro-farmer image.

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