Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday presented a revenue deficit budget while announcing an amnesty scheme for Goods and Services Tax (GST) payees and a reduction of VAT on natural gas, among other tax concessions.
Tabling the third budget of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in the Legislative Assembly, Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, said a provision of Rs 1,50,000 crore has been made for the annual plan.
As per the budget estimates, revenue receipts would be to the tune of Rs 4,03,427 crore, and revenue expenditure at Rs 4,27,780 crore.
There would be, thus, a revenue deficit of Rs 24,353 crore.
The tax revenues as per the revised estimate for the year 2021-22 would be Rs 2,75,498 crore. This includes a revised estimate of Rs 1,55,307 crore on account of GST, VAT, Central Sales Tax, Professional Tax and other essential taxes.
There would be an amnesty scheme for GST arrears, to be called the `Maharashtra Settlement of Arrears of Tax, Interest, Penalty or Late Fee Scheme, 2022′, the finance minister announced.
The scheme’s duration will be from April 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022.
Under the scheme, arrears of Rs 10,000 or less per year will be waived entirely.
The dealers who have run up arrears of up to Rs 10 lakh or less will have the option of paying 20 per cent of the dues in lumpsum and can get a waiver for the remainder.
Small dealers will benefit in almost one lakh arrears cases, while medium dealers will be benefited in 2.2 lakh cases, Pawar said.
In other concessions, the 3 per cent stamp duty on gift deed and 5 per cent stamp duty on sale deed will be exempted, which will cost the exchequer about Rs 21 crore.
Proposing a VAT cut for natural gas, Pawar said this fuel is environment-friendly and used for piped gas supply, CNG-powered motor vehicles, auto-rickshaws, taxis, and private vehicles. The VAT rate on natural gas will be slashed from 13.5 per cent to 3 per cent. It will cause a revenue loss of Rs 800 crore, he added.
An amnesty scheme under the stamp act for pending penalty dues will cost the government Rs 1,500 crore.
Waiver of stamp duty of 0.1 per cent on gold and silver delivery order documents will lead to a revenue shortfall of Rs 100 crore.
Tax levied by the Maharashtra Maritime Board on passengers and pets, vehicles and goods travelling by ferries and Ro-Ro boats will be waived for three years.
The minister added that the government would make sincere efforts to achieve revised revenue collection targets.
The tax concession proposals will collectively make a dent of over Rs 2,400 crore in the state’s income.
An incentive grant of Rs 50,000 each to farmers who repay their crop loans regularly, announced in 2020, could not be distributed due to financial constraints, and it will be given in the coming year, Pawar said.
The finance minister said that the grant would benefit around 20 lakh farmers, costing the exchequer Rs 10,000 crore.
The budget prioritizes agriculture, health, human resources, transport, and industry with a five-point development programme. The government will make Rs 4 lakh crore available in the next three years for these sectors, the finance minister said.
He claimed this would result in massive investment in the economy, expanding it to USD 1 trillion.
Revenue receipts for 2021-22, estimated at Rs 3,68,987 crore earlier, have been revised to Rs 3,62,132 crore now, Pawar said.
Budget expenditure for FY 21-22 was estimated to be Rs 4,37,961 crore, while a revised estimate is Rs 4,53,547 crore.
The increase in expenditure was on account of assistance given to people during the pandemic and natural calamities, Pawar said.
The state’s economy was gradually recovering after the COVID-19 shock. Still, as the ongoing war in Ukraine has severely impacted the world economy, it will affect sectors such as agriculture, industry and services in the state, Pawar said.