With an eye on Lok Sabha polls, the Congress-led UDF Government in Kerala today unveiled people-friendly Budget proposals for 2013-14 enhancing the social security pension, raising the retirement age and offering sops for farmers including an interest waiver.
It also seeks to mop-up additional revenue of Rs 1,138.33 crore, mostly from luxury items. Cigarettes and liquor, among other things, will attract higher taxes.
In a significant announcement, the Budget proposed to raise the retirement age of government employees, joining the service from April this year, to 60. The retirement age of existing staff is 56.
Announcing a set of flagship schemes for the protection of farmers, Finance Minister K.M. Mani set apart Rs 50 crore for writing off the interest on small farmers and announced an interest-free loan scheme for farmers holding below one hectare of land through cooperatives.
In the Budget presented to the State Assembly, Mani also came out with a risk insurance on farm loans guaranteeing that in the event of the farmer’s death, the loan need not be repaid.
Goods and Service Tax
Claiming that the prices of essentials would not be affected on account of changes in the GST on items specified in the Budget, the Minister proposed to raise the Goods and Service Tax on products such as vehicles and a range of consumer goods to 14.5 per cent from 13.5 per cent.
The Government expects to earn Rs 650-crore revenue through this measure.
He said this would bring the tax rate in Kerala on par with other southern States and that the common people would not be affected as basic items such as rice has been exempted.
Two other key sources of additional income that the Budget targeted were increasing the tax on cigarettes from 15 to 20 per cent, anticipating a revenue of Rs 120 crore, and that on foreign liquor from 100 to 105 per cent expecting an extra revenue of Rs 250 crore.
Seeking to help cardamom auctioneers in Kerala, VAT has been reduced to two per cent from five per cent. This would benefit only those who conduct auctions in the recognised centres of the spices board.
The minister also rationalised various fees on land registration and transactions hoping to earn Rs 200 crore.
The Budget estimates for 2013-14 show revenue receipt of Rs 58,057.88 crore and a revenue expenditure of Rs 60,327.85 crore.
After taking into account factors like capital expenditure, public debt servicing and concessions and relaxations, the Budget shows a deficit of Rs 526.54 crore.
Budget for the year 2013-2014 at a Glance
- Budget Speech 2013-14 ( Malayalam)
- Budget in Brief 2013-14
- Annual Plan 2013-14
- Debt Budget 2013-14
- Demand for Grants Vol 1
- Demand for Grants Vol 2 Pages 1 - 225
- Demand for Grants Vol 2 Pages 226 - 439
- Demand for Grants Vol 3 Pages 1 - 200
- Demand for Grants Vol 3 Pages 200-388
- Medium Term Fiscal Policy & Strategy Statement
- Detailed Budget Estimates of Revenue
- LSG Budget 2013-14 Part 1
- LSG Budget 2013-14 Part 2
- Eleventh Five Year Plan 2007-12 -Accounts-Pages 1 - 215
- Eleventh Five Year Plan 2007-12- Accounts-Pages 216 - 443
- Staff Appendix 2013-14
Budget for the year 2013-2014 at a Glance
- Special burn treatment centres in medical colleges
- Free generic medicine project in all taluk hospitals
- Research Centre at Thiruvananthapuram Engineering College
- Rs 55 Cr for Kollam, Alappuzha bypasses
- Chemical toilets in boats of water Department
- Rs 117 Cr for Vallarpadom-Kozhikode coastal Highway
- Rs 100 Cr aid for KSRTC to tide over difficult situation
- Roads to build cycle path with Private-Public participation
- Rs 10 Cr for modern parking facility in towns
- Rs 25 Cr Kumarakom-Nedumbassery State Highway
- Aid to those who get patents
- Research and inventions will be encouraged
- Rs 20 Cr for young entrepreneurs
- Agricultural product insurance scheme to cover all farm products
- 10 district to have units for producing Neera from coconut tree
- Rs 50 Cr for new dam at Mullaperiyar
- Rs 400 Cr for constructing check dams to solve water shortage
- Fish malls in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode
- Rs 10 Cr for fish-processing centers
- Plastic to be collected for processing; Interest free loan up to Rs 20 lakhs for societies
- Rs 35 Cr meat processing plant in Chalakkudy
- Housing loan subsidy for journalists raised to Rs 1 lakh
- Journalist pension raised to Rs 7000
- Erattupetta Panchayat to become Municipality
- Permanent steel bridge for Aluva Manalppuram; Rs 5 Cr allotted
- KSFE to implement employment scheme for diaspora
- Mangalya Nidhi for marriage of poor people; Rs 20,000 as aid
- Integrated Insurance programme for all families
- Vytilla model Mobility Hubs in important towns
- 'Thripty fair price food stalls to sell food packets for Rs 20
- Solar power generation will be extended
- Coastal ship transport will be encouraged; 5 ports to be developed
- Rs 100 Cr for 50 modern fish markets
- Rs 3 Cr for protection of fishermen
- Tax rebate for houses with rain water harvest facility
- Punishment to people who employ children as beggars
- Shelter homes to accommodate beggars
- Education loan interest discount for APL families too
- Old age and farmer's pension increased
- Rs 25 crore allocated for agri malls in important cities
- Risk insurance for agriculture loans; confiscation to be banned
- Permission to begin 10,000 integrated hi-tech agriculture centers
- Individuals excluded from agriculture taxes
- Rs 14 crore allocated for Supplyco to start two rice mills
- Interest free loan assured to small scale farmers
- 14 hi-tech agriculture villages to be started. Rs 3 crore financial assistance for a village
- Small scale farmers loan waived with immediate effect
- Progress in the Growth sector, Rs 8,000 crore to be invested in Capital sector
- Reduction in exports affects agriculture negatively
- Revenue willl increase by imposing taxes to more sectors
- Growth rate at 9.5%