Gujarat state budget cuts VAT on auto fuels, offers tax relief

Gujarat presented a populist budget for financial year 2023, ahead of the state assembly elections, by reducing value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel by 4.5% and 7.5%, respectively. Reduction in VAT would decrease the selling price of both the petroleum products by Rs7 a litre in the state.

Compared to Rs 2.27 lakh crore in FY22, a budgetary outlay (total expenditure) of Rs 2.44 lakh crore has been made for FY23, with a view to giving an impetus to growth, post the Covid-19 pandemic. Giving relief to the neo-middle class who are wage earners in the public or private sector, people who receive salary or wage up Rs 12,000 per month shall be fully exempted from payment of professional tax. “This will provide a relief of Rs 198 crore to nearly 15 lakh middle class taxpayers. As a result, revenue of the state will be reduced by Rs 108 crore,” said the state’s  finance minister in the House.

A total provision of Rs 15,568 crore for the energy and petrochemicals department has been made. Rs 1,046 crore has been allocated to complete the task of providing the remaining agriculture power connections. Keeping in mind the fact that 48% of the state’s population live in cities, the finance minister made a provision of Rs 14,300 crore for the urban development and urban housing sector.

A corpus of Rs 1,000 crore will be created under a start-up venture finance scheme to encourage new entrepreneurs and strengthen the start-up ecosystem. For this, a provision of Rs 200 crore has been done for the next year. A provision of Rs 480 crore for laying deep sea pipelines in highly industrialised Sarigaam, Vapi, Surat and Ankleshwar has been proposed for the disposal of treated water. A sum of Rs 7,737 crore has been allotted for agriculture, farmers’ welfare and cooperation. Rs 880 crore for fisheries, Rs 5,339 crore for water resources, Rs 6,090 crore for the Narmada project, especially to expand canal network related to Sardar Sarovar Dam, has been allotted.

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