Madhya Pradesh: Budget session likely in mid-March

BHOPAL: Delayed by almost a month, the Budget session of Madhya Pradesh Assembly is likely to be held from March 16, after Holi. Finance minister Tarun Bhanot is expected to present the budget on March 20

Facing a severe financial crunch with state’s share in Centre being drastically slashed, the Kamal Nath government is in a fix to mop up additional revenue to funds its pet projects and welfare schemes. Still, the cash-strapped state government has announced not to impose new taxes on the public and decided to raise revenue through alternate finance mechanism (AFM).

The Budget session of the assembly is normally held during last week of February. MP government decided to come with the fiscal plan in March after thorough discussions and planning on alternative measures to generate revenue. “As the tradition is, the budget session will begin with the customary address of the Governor. The government provides 30 days after the notification to allow assembly secretariat to collect questions and proposals to be discussed during the session. We are waiting for government instructions on the same,” said principal secretary of Vidhan Sabha, AP Singh.

Sources in finance department disclosed that the budget is being prepared after discussions with the NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), financial and banking experts. The government aims to continue with its flagship schemes like farm loan waiver, Swabhiman Yojana (stipend to unemployed youth), MNREGS, CM mass marriage scheme, Ladli Laxmi and destitute pension.

“The government has limited sources of revenue. GST regime has further narrowed its flexibility to mobilise resources or go for additional taxation and revenue receipts are largely dependent on state’s share from the Centre. Still, we have decided to impose no new tax. With efficient fiscal management and vision of chief minister Kamal Nath to promote industry and tourism, we will invite investors and come up with attractive plans for tourist destinations to generate revenue and jobs,” finance minister, Tarun Bhanot told TOI.