Tripura Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, Jishnu Devvarma on Monday presented a ‘tax-free’ and ‘zero deficit’ budget of Rs 17,530.46 crore with a number of proposals for rural development, youth including free smartphones for fresh graduates and public distribution system.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has congratulated Jishnu Devvarma for presenting a “pro-people & pro-growth” Tripura State Budget for the financial year 2019-20.
Deb hoped that the Tripura Budget 2019 will boost the BJP-led Tripura government’s efforts towards achieving their vision of ‘Transforming Tripura into a Model State’.
Devvarma after presenting the budget claimed that their government has succeeded in gaining a revenue growth of 14.5 per cent in the last one year due to better tax management and administrative policies, reports Indian Express.
The Tripura government aims for a tax revenue collection of Rs 2,048.95 crore this financial year, deputy CM Devvarma said.
The estimate accounts for a non-tax revenue collection of Rs 285.21 crore and Rs 12,764.30 crore fund receipt from the state, including a share of central taxes and deficit grants, Devvarma further said adding that this is slightly higher than the non-tax revenue provisions of Rs 12,506.18 crore in the revised estimates of the current financial year.
The budget also aims to bootstrap the gross borrowing of nearly Rs 2,430 crore.
While the total expenditure for 2019-20 has been projected at Rs 17,530.46 crore in the budget estimate, including a revenue expenditure of Rs 14,061.32 crore, the capital expenditure has been estimated at Rs 3,469.14 crore.
The Tripura government’s budget also carried provisions to raise the social security pension from Rs 700 to Rs 1,000 per month during the first phase for selected categories of beneficiaries.
It may be mentioned that the BJP had promised during Assembly poll campaigns last year that it would increase all social security pensions from Rs 700 to Rs 2,000 per month if it was voted to power.
The move to raise the amount to Rs 1,000 is the first step in the direction of fulfilling the poll promise of social security pensions.
In order to garner support of the young generation ahead of the Lok Sabha polls 2019, the budget has also proposed to provide free smartphones to fresh graduates of the state. However, free smartphones to all youths was also among a few popular poll promises made by the BJP in Tripura.
However, to fulfil the poll promise, the budget has made proposal to provide smartphones only to fresh graduates in the first phase.
The government has also decided to develop 10 under-developed rural development blocks in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) into ‘Model Blocks’ with provisions of a series of better services and amenities.
It has also been proposed that sugar would be distributed at subsidised rates through fair price shops to all households in the this financial year.
The government will also launch additional Krishak Bandhu Centre (KBC) to reach technical knowledge about agriculture to the farmers’ doorstep.
The paddy procurement will be continued through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) by bearing the additional rice milling bills.
Augmenting scopes for fish cultivation, drinking water supply, irrigation, etc. the government also been proposed that 1,867 check dams would be erected with funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JIA) and the Indo-German Development Cooperation (IGDC) projects.
While presenting budget, the deputy CM said to give a major boost to milk production in the state, the government will provide 10,000 cows (2 cows per family) to women members of 5,000 families under the Mini Dairy Scheme of NABARD loan.
The minister also said the BJP-led government intends to set up 18 additional Ekalavya Model Residential Schools with 480 seat capacity in each of them.
The report quoted BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha as terming the budget as ‘historic’ and ‘pro-people’. Sinha said the new budget proposal included provisions for development of people from all walks of life. “It is a complete and welfare budget,” he said.
However, the Opposition Congress has termed the budget as ‘jumla’.
Tripura Pradesh Congress vice president Tapas Dey reportedly hit out at the government over the provisions of free smartphones while ignoring the welfare of farmers, students and other youths.
He said, “This budget is a jumla.”