TN Budget: Panneerselvam expects revenue slowdown in FY20; announces ‘farmer-centric’ policy

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In his Budget speech, Panneerselvam said the government expects a dip in GST, VAT (value added tax) revenue due to slowdown in the current financial year. (File photo)

In his 10th Budget presented on Friday in the state assembly, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam said he expected Rs 2,19,325 crore estimated revenue and Rs 2,40,992 crore worth expenditures for 2020-21.

The fiscal deficit for the next financial year is Rs 59,346 crore, which is 2.84 per cent of GSDP, against the current financial year’s fiscal deficit Rs 55,058 crore, which was 2.97 per cent of GSDP.

The opposition DMK, meanwhile, attacked the government for presenting a Budget “without vision,” where the state’s tax revenue in the current fiscal was reported a fall to the extent of Rs 7,000 crore, on lower goods and services tax (GST) collection and share of central tax revenue.

In his Budget speech, Panneerselvam said the government expects a dip in GST, VAT (value added tax) revenue due to slowdown in the current financial year.

Reminding about funds to be released from the Centre and declaring that the state has achieved growth of 8.1 per cent in 2018-19, he said the state’s growth in FY21 is expected to be at 7.2 per cent and tax revenue is likely to grow at 10.5 per cent.

Hailing Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s announcement declaring the Cauvery delta basin a protected agricultural zone, Panneerselvam said the government will introduce a Bill in the assembly next Tuesday to implement this declaration.

The state finance minister announced an allocation of Rs 11,000 crore towards crop loan by cooperative institutions, claiming that the AIADMK government’s “farmer-centric” policy framework also focuses on escalating investments in the agriculture sector.

He also announced expansion of the System of Rice Intensification to 27.18 lakh acres and direct sowing of paddy to a total of 11.1 lakh acre in the districts of Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga in 2020-21. Panneerselvam also announced a special subsidy assistance of Rs 75 crore for sugarcane farmers for micro irrigation.

Around Rs 500 crore was allocated for road safety and a soon-to-be-launched Tamil Nadu Road Safety Mission to involve various departments and agencies to make the roads safer in the state.

Besides the proposed implementation of intra-state ration card portability in the state, the Budget also announced allocation of Rs 6,500 crore for food subsidy. According to Panneerselvam, the state will be soon equipped to enable cardholders with a smart ration card to consume from any fare price shop in the state.

Talking about the state’s universal PDS scheme, which is now being made in compliance with the National Food Security Act, 2013, Panneerselvam said as many as 585 fair price shops across Tamil Nadu have been already upgraded.