Debt relief for poor in Tamil Nadu budget

Debt relief for poor in Tamil Nadu budget

Thursday, 20 March 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government Thursday announced debt relief for the poor besides major tax exemptions and reductions in its nearly 98 billion deficit budget for 2008-09.

Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan said the total revenue for the state for the fiscal is estimated at 51,505.62 crore (515.06 billion) and the total expenditure amounts to 61,297.92 crore (612.98 billion)

"The deficit is 9792.30 crore (97.92 billion) which is less than the three percent of the State Gross Domestic Product as per the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2003," Anbazhagan said.

This was the third budget after the DMK came to power in 2006.

The government last year waived 7000 crore (70 billion) farm loans given by cooperative banks.

This year it proposed to waive farm loans taken from Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation (TAHDCO) to the tune of 5.5 crore (55 million).

The finance minister also announced waiver of 15 crore (150 million) in debts taken by weavers from HUDCO.

Housing loans up to 25,000 from Urban and Taluka Cooperative Housing Societies taken by people from economically weaker sections were also waived.

Anbazhagan also announced waiver of entertainment tax outstanding of 16 crore (160 million) as on March 31 this year from the cable operators.

He also exempted from the Value Added Tax (VAT) products like gold thali and similar symbolic wedding jewellery, bread, bun, rusk, cloth-lined paper envelope, desiccated coconut, packaged tender coconut water, chilli, turmeric, coriander powder, soya oil, jatropha oil, jatropha seeds and jaggery.

The VAT rate has been reduced on ores, minerals, mosaic chips, files and folders made of paperboards and plastic photo frames.

The other tax cut proposals are on resale of used vehicles, leasing of construction equipments and power generators.

Anbazhagan also announced the state government's readiness to accept the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission for its employees.
Source: IANS
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