Gandhinagar, Feb 25 (IANS) A green cess on power generation and an increase in VAT on tobacco and its products and on mobile phones, all designed to net an additional Rs.524 crore, were among the highlights of Gujarat’s surplus budget with an outlay of Rs.80,694 crore.
Presenting annual budget to the state assembly here, Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala Friday said the plan expenditure has increased by 23.86 percent over the last year to Rs.37,153 crore.
The budgetary estimates for 2011-12 show a revenue surplus of Rs.443 crore while the fiscal deficit is estimated to come down to Rs.14,279 crore.
Developmental expenditure is up to Rs.52,109 crore and the total receipts have gone up to Rs.79,287 crore. The total state taxes have been estimated to grow by 9 percent over the current year to Rs.39,046 crore from Rs.30,261 crore.
Vala said the social sector gets a major focus in the developmental plans of the government with a total outlay of Rs.14,814 crore, which constitutes 39.87 percent of the total plan allocation.
The budget’s key thrust areas include doubling of the investment in Sardar Sarovar Project from Rs.3,500 crore to Rs.7,010 crore for strengthening the canal network, a provision for the Metro-link between Ahmedabad and the state capital Gandhinagar, development of medical colleges at Patan, Sola, Gotri and Valsad with ancillary infrastructure facilities at Junagadh, Vadnagar and Gandhinagar.
After the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, the state government, in its golden jubilee year, proposed to erect Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue, which will be the tallest statue in the world and will be called the Statue of Unity.