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Odisha Govt. to present Tax-free Budget for 2013-14

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TNI Bureau: The state government is all set to outwit the Opposition by presenting a tax-free budget that gives more emphasis on agriculture, education, health and infrastructure sectors for this financial year 2013-2014. The annual budget of the state is likely to cross Rs 58,000 crore, about Rs 5000 crore more than Rs 52,030 crore allocation proposed for 2012-13.

The draft proposal of the state budget for 2013-14 was approved at a meeting of Odisha Council of Ministers chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday. The budget approval also included Naveen’s recently announced Re. 1/kg rice scheme, other proposals like aid to youth clubs, concrete roads and Kalyan Mandaps in ULBs.

The Budget session will commence from February 14. The budget will be presented on February 19. Sources said that the budget will have no new taxes. The government has reportedly made a provision of nearly Rs 2000 crore for state schemes.

The fiscal deficit of the state will be well within the benchmark of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act despite the proposals that Naveen has announced keeping the 2014 polls in the mind. “The fiscal deficit was 1.27 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and it will not cross the 3 per cent benchmark”, said Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya after the meeting on Thursday.

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