Public debt forms over 1/5th of Budget

Public debt of Rs 26,009.87 crore will form over one-fifth (22.92 per cent) of the state's budget outlay for 2013-14, second only to income from sales tax and value added tax (VAT) that will contribute 39.92 per cent or Rs 45,300 crore in revenue in the next financial year, according to figures released by state's Finance Minister Nitin Patel on Wednesday.

Addressing the press later, Patel said there was nothing wrong in the state government not reducing VAT or duty on electricity bills. "The money so raised will be used for public good to fulfil 60 per cent of the promises made in our manifesto before Assembly elections," he said. "The budget size this year at Rs 1,14,450 crore is 12.5 per cent bigger than the previous year's Rs 1,01,712 crore," he added.

In a setback to trade and industry circles, Pate ruled out any increase in input tax credit against VAT, which is half of what is allowed by other states. While Gujarat allows only two per cent, other states allow four per cent.

Patel said the government was already losing Rs 88 crore on cuts in lump sum tax on wages, Rs 255 crore on electricity duty and Rs 132 crore on carbon credits.

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