September 23, 2020

Bihar government focuses on education, infrastructure growth in budget

With a focus on the education and infrastructure, Bihar deputy chief minister and finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi presented a revenue-surplus budget of Rs. 1.76 trillion for the next fiscal.

The budget, however, concedes that the goods and services tax (GST) impacted on the state government’s own tax revenue, which shrunk by an estimated Rs 40 billion in the current fiscal.

On the other hand, no new taxes were announced in the budget speech of the Deputy CM, which was drowned out by the constant protests by opposition members. Out of the total budget of Rs 1.76 trillion, the finance minister had estimated that almost Rs 805 billion will be spent on salary, pension, interest and repayment of loans, whereas more than Rs 923 billion would used to meet planned expenditure.

The state government has continued to focus on education and infrastructure sector in this budget also. The state government has allocated more than 18 percent of its budget or Rs 351.25 billion for education department.

For the construction of roads, both in rural and urban areas, the state government has allocated almost Rs 174 billion or 10 per cent of its budget, whereas power sector has been allocated a total of Rs 102.50 billion for the next fiscal.

The state government set an ambitious target of providing electricity to every household in the state before the end of the calendar year. The government has also announced that six major bridge projects on Gandak, Ganga, Sone and Kosi rivers would be operational in this year. The state government would also construct boundry walls for temples in the Bihar with an estimated Rs 300 million.

On the receipts front, the state government calculated that it would receive Rs 761.72 billion as its share of central taxes, whereas it would earn almost Rs 355 billion from its own revenue.

State’s own tax revenue expectation, however, has slumped by Rs 10 billion. “We made it more realistic this year. We expect that we would be able to earn around Rs. 200 billion in commercial taxes, whereas Rs 30 billion would come as compensation,” said Sushil Modi. He also estimates that Rs 464.31 billion would come as in grants-in-aid from central government in the next financial year.

Courtesy: Business Standard

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