Budget 2019: Special tourism package, change in Central taxes; what states want from Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday organised a pre-Budget meeting in order to meet with state finance ministers and seek suggestions for the Union Budget 2019.
Goa Finance Minister Pramod Sawant sought a special package for the mining and tourism sector. He also proposed a special mining assistance package and land acquisition package for building an expressway from a national highway to the Mopa airport, and sought exemption of export duty for high grade iron ore. "Attended the pre-budget consultation meetin chaired by the Union Minister of Finance Smt @nsitharaman. Sought mining package, support for hinterland tourism, land acquisition package for expressway from NH66 to Mopa airport, exemption of export duty for high grade ore," Sawant tweeted after attending the meeting.
Likewise, Chhattisgarh pushed for an increase in PM KISAN allocation funds to Rs 12,000. The state FM Bhupesh Baghel said that farmers in the state are not getting PM KISAN funds. While speaking to reporters after the meeting, Baghel said that the state needs more allocation for roads in LWE (left-wing extremism) areas. He also raised the issue of erratic disbursement of GST Compensation to states.
Sitharaman said that unprecedented level of devolution of funds has taken place from Centre to the states and devolution to states has increased in recent times from Rs 8,29,344 crore to Rs 12,38,274 crore. "The Centre has the responsibility of setting the direction of the economic growth while it is the responsibility of the states to implement," she added.
Sitharaman, who is India's first full time woman Finance Minister, has been meeting representatives of different states ahead of the Union Budget and has even asked common citizens to share their suggestions as Finance Ministry aims at making this budget a participative and inclusive exercise. "We seek your valuable ideas to continue the tradition of the Union Budget incorporating the citizens’ aspirations. Citizens from all walks of life are welcome to be a part of this democratic exercise,” a government statement read.
According to a report by news agency Reuters, the Ministry of Finance is likely to overshoot the budget deficit target previously set for the FY20 as a slowing economy creates a big shortfall in tax collections and prompts new stimulus plans. “There is no other option but to defer the fiscal consolidation target as boosting economic growth and reviving private investment is our top priority,” a senior finance ministry official involved in the budget discussions," the report added.
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