Maharashtra presents Rs 184-cr revenue-surplus budget.

Ajit Pawar

Even as 16 districts of the state are hit by drought and there is a general slowdown in economy, the Maharashtra government today presented a Rs 184.4 crore revenue-surplus budget for 2013-14. Presenting the budget ahead of assembly elections in 2014, the government has proposed to mobilise Rs 1,150 crore through various tax proposals.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, also the state’s finance minister, said the focus is not to impose additional taxes on the poor and middle class. He said the emphasis is on effective recovery of tax by plugging leakages. According to him, the revenue receipts would be in the region of Rs 1,55,987 crore and revenue expenditure, at Rs 1,55,802.6 crore.

Annual plan size has been proposed at Rs 46,938 crore for 2013-14, slightly more than Rs 45,000 crore in 2012-13. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said despite slow down and drought, the state’s gross state domestic product will grow at 7.1 per cent, which is two per cent more than the all-India rate. The government has made an attempt to allocate 25 per cent of the total budget proposals for water.

Pawar has proposed to increase in tax rate of gold, silver and their jewellery from 1 per cent to 1.10 per cent and sugarcane purchase tax from three per cent to five per cent to raise fund for drought relief for one year.

Taking a cue from Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Pawar increased tax on cigarette from 20 per cent to 25 per cent and on bidi from five per cent to 12.5 per cent.

Excise duty on liquor has also been raised. Duty on country liquor will go up from Rs 95 per proof litre to Rs 110 per proof litre, and on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) it will be increased from Rs 240 per proof litre to Rs 300 per proof litre. For fragmented strong beer, the duty will be Rs 60 per bulk litre or 200 per cent of the manufacturing cost, whichever is higher. Earlier, the rate was Rs 42 per bulk litre or 175 per cent of manufacturing cost, whichever is higher.

Further, the government has proposed to increase the export fee of IMFL having a maximum retail price less than Rs 500. The fee will go up from to Rs 1 per bulk litre to Rs 3 per bulk litre.

Export fee on IMFL above Rs 500 has been raised from Rs 5 per bulk litre to Rs 10 per bulk litre.

Moreover, financial institutions will be liable to pay stamp duty on mortgage deeds. The institutions will need to impound any existing instrument for which proper stamp duty is not paid on or before September 30, 2013 and forward it to the collector for further processing. However, if the stamp duty is paid before September 2013, then impounding is not necessary.

Unmanufactured (raw) tobacco will be taxed at 12.5 per cent, with 5 per cent levy on textile for industrial use. The budget has also proposed to increase tax on certain powder, cubes and tablets from which non-alcoholic beverages are prepared from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

On stamp duty

Flat owners in Maharashtra who have paid stamp duty but have not got the apartment registered will now be liable for stamp duty at market rate. “If proper stamp duty is paid on a registered agreement to sell, treating it as a deemed conveyance and subsequently, a conveyance deed is executed without any modification, then such a conveyance should be treated as a supplementary document under Section 4 of the Maharashtra Stamp Act and a duty of Rs 100 should be charged,” Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said.

The focus on taxes

Sales Tax & VAT at Rs 62,422 cr in 2013-14, compared to Rs 53,361 cr in 2012-13
Stamp duty & registration at Rs 17,703 crore in 2013-14, up from Rs 15,730 crore in 2012-13
Motor Vehicle Tax at Rs 4,750 cr in 2013-14, against Rs 4,200 cr in 2012-13

Source : Business Standard.

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