The Tamil Nadu government today presented a revenue deficit budget for the year 2017-18, but spared the common man from any new tax. In his maiden budget, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar noted that the state economy was "slowly picking up" but the "continuing sluggishness" of global and domestic economies and demonetisation has affected it "significantly".
While the Total Revenue Receipts (TRR) has been projected at Rs 1,59,363 crore, revenue expenditure was estimated at Rs 1,75,293 crore, "leaving the revenue deficit at Rs 15,930 crore," he said.
However, the deficit will be contained despite "additional commitment" of payments under the Centre's UDAY scheme and the state government giving free power of up to 100 units to domestic consumers, he said.
In 2016-17, the government had taken over state-run power utility TANGEDCO's Rs 22,815 crore debt which has "increased the Fiscal Deficit beyond the Tamil Nadu Fiscal Responsibility Act Norm of three per cent of GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product)," Jayakumar said.
But the Centre has given 'specific authorisation' to exceed the limit to the extent of this debt takeover and allowed the state to borrow beyond the three percent to absorb this burden, he said.
A bill to amend the Tamil Nadu Fiscal Responsibility Act,2003 will be introduced in the ongoing session of the Assembly, Jayakumar said. While dwelling on State's Own Tax Revenue (SOTR), he said.
Tamil Nadu's economy is 'slowly picking up', which is evident from improvement in GSDP rate, up from 4.85 percent in 2012-13 to 8.79 percent in 2015-16 at 2011-12 constant prices.
The state finance minister anticipated a faster growth rate on account of concerted efforts by the government.
"However, the continuing sluggishness of the global and domestic economies and demonetisation of specific bank notes have affected the state economy in a significant manner," he said.
SOTR was estimated to be Rs 87,287 crore in Revised Estimates 2016-17 and was estimated to increase to Rs 99,590 crore in Budget Estimates 2017-18, Jayakumar said.
"The low economic growth, demonetisation and the ban on sale of property in unapproved layouts have dented receipts from Stamp Duty and Registration charges severely," he said.Considering these factors, receipts from Stamp Duty and Registration Charges were expected to be Rs 8,220 crore in 2017-18 against Rs 7,985 crore in the Revised Estimates 2016-17, he said.