Tamil Nadu finance minister K Anbazhagan on Friday presented the
state Budget, which earmarked an all-time high outlay of Rs 17,858
crore for social safety net and Rs 12,285 crore for capital
expenditure for the year 2010-11.
“The Budget has been prepared keeping in mind the basic goals of
social justice, growth of Tamil Nadu and improvement in the standard
of living of the people,” said Anbazhagan.
Total plan outlay is up 14 per cent to Rs 20,000 crore for the year
2010-11 from Rs 17,500 crore in 2009-10.
The government has estimated revenues at Rs 63,091.74 crore for
2010-11 and expenditure at around Rs 66,488.19 crore — a revenue
deficit of Rs 3,396.45 crore. “Implementation of recommendations of
the Sixth Pay Commission is the main reason for this deficit,” said
the minister. For the current financial year, revenue deficit is
estimated at Rs 5,019.54 crore.
It has projected the fiscal deficit to be 3.7 per cent of the gross
state domestic product at Rs 16,222.13 crore higher than Rs
12,860.45 crore in 2009-10. “The fiscal deficit for the year 2010-11
is permissible as per the recommendations of the 13th Finance
Commission,” he said.
In view of the Assembly elections scheduled for 2011, the state
government has announced various schemes to keep its voters happy.
For instance, it has set a target to disburse Rs 2,500 crore to
farmers during 2010-11 as against Rs 2,000 crore in 2009-10. It has
also allocated Rs 140 crore towards interest-free cooperative crop
loans to the farmers and Rs 200 crore towards crop insurance. A sum
of Rs 200 crore has been set aside to procure paddy at Rs 1,050 a
quintal as compared with Rs 1,000.
To provide free electricity for farmers, the state government has
allocated Rs 295 crore as subsidy for the Tamil Nadu Electricity
Board. A sum of Rs 351 crore has been allocated for animal husbandry
and dairy development department. In view of declining prices of
pulses and sugar, Rs 3,750 core has been allocated as food subsidy.
Health and family welfare
The other major focus in the Budget was on health and family
welfare, for which the government has allocated Rs 3,889 crore. This
includes Rs 750 crore for payment of insurance premium for Kalaignar
Health Insurance, Rs 79 crore for free emergency ‘108’ ambulance
service, Rs 80 crore for maintenance of government hospitals and Rs
236 crore for purchasing medicine. New buildings, equipment and
hostels have been sanctioned for existing medical college hospitals
at a cost of Rs 543 crore.
The government has also given its nod to set up government medical
colleges in five district headquarters —Dharmapuri, Viluppuram,
Tiruvarur, Sivanganga and Perambalur. A new medical college will be
established at Tiruvannamalai in the coming financial year.
Taluk and district level government hospitals too are being improved
at an estimated cost of Rs 506 crore with the assistance of the
World Bank. An additional assistance of Rs 627 crore is expected
from the World Bank for this project soon.
To add 1,400 Mw
The state will add 1,400 mega watt of additional power, which is
expected to come from new projects being set up by the TN
Electricity Board, central public sector undertakings and joint
Anbazhagan said work on the 1,200 Mw North Chennai thermal power
station and 600 Mw expansion project at Mettur was progressing fast.
The first unit of Koodankulam Atomic Power plant is expected to be
commissioned in the coming financial year while plans are being
worked out to increase electricity generation by another 8,000 Mw.
The government will take up road development projects worth Rs 4,965
crore across the state. The minister said Rs 1,967 crore had been
sanctioned to construct 92 railway-over-bridges and works had been
taken up. Works on 725 km roads from Arcot to Tiruvarur and from
Nagapattinam to Thoothukudi have also been taken up at a cost of Rs
1,333 crore with the assistance of the World Bank.
Work on the six-lane Outer Ring Road at a cost of Rs 1,081 crore
would commence soon. It is expected to be completed by September
2012. Development of Singaperumalkoil – Oragadam Sriperumbudur road
is being taken up at a cost of Rs 300 crore. A sum of Rs 165 crore
has been allocated towards this.
The government has also decided to build Western Outer Ring Road for
Coimbatore, a four-lane road stretching 26 km at a cost of Rs 284
crore, through the public sector. Also, during the year, it would
purchase 3,000 new buses for around Rs 250 crore.
Value-added tax (VAT) on unbranded products, including coffee,
bakery products, steel furniture, footwear, dry grapes and branded
items — masala powders, bajji flour, ghee, vanaspati, pickles and
wet grinders -- has been slashed from 12.5 per cent to four per
cent. In a bid to curb the hike in sugar price in the open market,
imported sugar would be exempt from purchase tax for one year.
Highest allocation for education
A sum of Rs 10,148 crore has been allocated for school education,
the highest in the history of the Tamil Nadu Budget. The government
also earmarked Rs 1,751 crore for the higher education department.
IT exports up 29 per cent
The value of software exports from the state increased 29 per cent
in 2008-09 to Rs 36,680 crore from Rs 28,426 crore, a year ago.
Finance minister K Anbazhagan in his Budget speech said IT parks
were being established in municipal corporations like Coimbatore,
Madurai and Trichy. The ‘Tidel’ IT Park at Coimbatore, being set up
at an estimated cost of Rs 380 crore, will be completed by May 2010.
The Tamil Nadu State Wide Area Network, which connects headquarters
of various government departments with offices at district,
divisional and block levels through Internet, will be expanded at a
cost of Rs 22 crore.
Source : Business Standard, India, dated 20/03/2010