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Gujarat budget declares Rs 79,295 crore annual plan, makes allocations for many central initiatives

Livemint :  February 25, 2015

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government, in its budget for the next fiscal year, on Tuesday set aside money to execute many of the initiatives unveiled by Narendra Modi in the nine months he has spent as Prime Minister after serving as the state’s chief minister for 13 years.

Chief minister Anandiben Patel’s government allocated funds for the Modi government’s plan to create smart cities, for the Digital India initiative that will ensure delivery of state services electronically and link rural areas with high-speed Internet networks, the Clean India mission and the ‘Make in India’ campaign to encourage manufacturing.

Gujarat will spend Rs.79,295.11 crore in its annual plan. About 48.53% of the budget allocation is for the social sector, amounting to Rs.38,484.15 crore, finance minister Saurabh Patel said.

The budget had been guided by the widely accepted philosophy of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” the minister said.

The overall budget size is Rs.1.39 trillion; it is estimated to have an overall surplus of Rs.125 crore and a revenue surplus of Rs.7,308 crore. This is the fifth consecutive year that Gujarat has unveiled a revenue-surplus budget.

The budget imposed a new tax on so-called technical textiles—which include textiles used in medical implants and protective clothing for firefighters and welders—that would raise revenue of Rs.80 crore.

“All other states have taxed technical textiles. So far, we had given them sufficient time to grow. Now they are big enough and can be covered under the tax net,” Patel said after the budget speech.

The government unveiled a relief package of Rs.1,100 crore for farmers and allocated funds to the tune of Rs.10,269.74 crore for the urban development and urban housing department.

The latter includes Rs.611 crore for the initial phase of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project and Rs.150 crore for works related to smart cities.

A provision of Rs.1,200 crore has been made for a scheme to provide affordable housing facilities for the urban poor, and Rs.9,000 crore for an inter-state project with a dam on the Narmada river at Kevadia in Gujarat. The project, with irrigation, power and drinking water spinoffs, is meant to benefit Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The construction of the Statue of Unity, a 182-feet monument to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel facing the Narmada Dam, has begun and for this the state finance minister announced a provision of Rs.915 crore.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

x IBEF : India Brand Equity Foundation