The government allocates money for girls’ education, for Science City, for loan waivers; AIADMK steps disengagement

Tamil Nadu’s DMK government presented the budget for 2022-23 to the Assembly on Friday and Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said for the first time since 2014 the revenue shortfall is expected to narrow by more than Rs 7,000 crore .

After shouting slogans, the main opposition party AIADMK staged a strike and boycotted the presentation of the budget, the second by the DMK government after coming to power in May 2021. Citing the coronavirus pandemic, floods and the Government action to deal with the situation, Thiaga Rajan said these aspects have had a negative impact on the already struggling state finances.

Although the revenue shortfall since 2014 has grown dauntingly every year, “for the first time” this year it has changed. Given the prudent fiscal management, the overall revenue shortfall has narrowed to Rs 55,272.79 crore in the revised estimates from the budgeted Rs 58,692.68 crore.

“This government will take all necessary measures to increase the efficiency of tax collection.”

The 15th Central Finance Committee has recommended that states run a budget deficit of up to 4.5% of GSDP in 2021-22. “However, the GSDP percentage budget deficit has been reduced to 3.80% in the revised estimates, from 4.33% in the budget estimates.”

Highlighting the growth in the economy of the state, the minister said that the tax revenue of the state is estimated at Rs 1,42,799.93 crore and the non-tax revenue of the state at 15,537.24 crore rupees. The share of the Central Taxes component is estimated at Rs 33,311.14 crore. Total revenue is expected to be Rs 2,31,407.28 crore. Total revenue expenditure is expected to be Rs 2,84,188.45 crore. In 2022-23, net government debt is projected at Rs 90,116.52 crore. As of March 31, 2023, the total outstanding debt would be Rs 6,53,348.73 crore and the debt-GSDP ratio would be 26.29%.

“It remains within the limits set by the 15th Central Finance Commission.” The clear and focused action of this government and its administrative efficiency made the turnaround possible, he said.

The minister said Chief Minister MK Stalin is the foundation for such action which symbolizes the “Dravidian model” of growth, which emphasizes self-respect, harmony and social justice. He said Rs 2,531 crore for agricultural loan waiver, Rs 1,000 crore for jewelry loan waiver and Rs 600 crore for self-help group loan waiver, totaling Rs 4,131 crore have been allocated.

The Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Memorial Marriage Assistance Scheme is being transformed into the Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Higher Education Assurance Scheme.

“All female students who have studied in grades 6 to 12 in public schools will receive Rs 1,000 per month directly into their bank account until the uninterrupted completion of their undergraduate, diploma and ITI courses. Students will be eligible for this in addition to other scholarships.”

The financial situation of state discom TANGEDCO is a matter of serious concern as it continues to incur huge losses every year. An allowance of Rs. 13,108 crores has been provided to the government to cover 100% of its losses for the current year (2021-22). In addition, an allocation of Rs.9,379 crore has been made in the budget to reimburse tariff subsidies provided by the government. A basic tenet of the Constitution is that “India is a Union of States”, he said. “We are deeply concerned by the persistent attempts to erode the federal architecture of our political system.” The government would continue to fight for the legitimate rights of all states.

The exercise promises to be difficult and full of uncertainties. The ongoing war in Ukraine may disrupt global economic recovery. Disruptions to global supply and demand shocks, including those triggered by war, can negatively impact government tax revenues. The government would contribute Rs 50 crore to the “Emerging Sector Seed Fund” to make equity investments in Tamil Nadu-based startups, he said. As soon as the finance minister started his presentation of the budget, opposition leader K Palaniswami tried to raise some issues.

President M Appavu said that nothing would be recorded and added that time would be given to the opposition after the presentation of the budget and that they could express their views later. The din reigned in the House for some time as senior members of the opposition party, including deputy leader O Panneerselvam, rose to try and raise some issues. Slogans were also launched by members of the opposition.

The president repeatedly urged them to return to their seats and said that work on March 18 was limited to the presentation of the budget. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, who were former chief ministers, were familiar with the practices and should protect the traditions of the assembly, the speaker said. Later, led by Palaniswami, the AIADMK staged a walkout, boycotting the presentation of the budget.

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