The Finance Minister of the State of Assam, Ajanta Neog has presented the Budget for the Fiscal Year 2023-2024, introducing the “Green Budget” for the first time.
The Green Budget classifies Public Expenditure into 4 categories: ‘highly favourable’ (green), ‘moderately favourable’ (yellow), ‘neutral’ (grey), and ‘less-favourable’ (brown), based on its impact on the environment.
In the first year, 14 key departments having high relevance to the 9 vulnerable sectors identified under the Assam State Action Plan on Climate Change were tagged. These vulnerable sectors include Agriculture and Allied Sectors, Forestry and Biodiversity, Water Resources, and Energy among others. In the green budget, 81 schemes have been identified as ‘highly favourable’ with a budget allocation of Rs 1289 cr, 118 schemes as ‘moderately favourable’ with a budget allocation of Rs 4989 cr and 286 schemes as ‘Neutral’ with a budget allocation of Rs 10916 cr.
Some of the significant green schemes reported this year are, Mukhyamantri Soura Shakti Prakalpa, Electric Vehicle Policy, Green Innovation Fund, Mission Amrit Sarovar, Wetland Development Project, and the Rejuvenation of Kollong River, amongst others.
The following were presented as the flagship schemes of the upcoming fiscal year : —
i. Mukhya Mantri Sva-Niyojan Mission
ii. One Lakh Jobs
iii. Assam Micro-Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme (AMFIRS)
iv. Daridrata Nivaran
v. Pragyan Bharati
vi. Assam Urban Health Mission (AUHM)
vii. 200 years of Assam Tea
viii. Quest for Cultural Identity
ix. Mission for Prevention of Child Marriage
x. Amar Gaon Amar Gaurav
xi. Khel Maharan and Sanskritik Mahasangram
xii. Reviving the movement around women empowerment
xiii. Creating Growth Corridors
xiv. Right to Public Service Commission
xv. Standing with Our Employees – APUN GHOR, APUN BAHAN
xvi. New Infrastructure Push
xvii. Support to MSME sector
xviii. Mission Basundhara
Other major announcements for the FY 2023-24 include : –
i. Most Outstanding District Initiative (MODI): Swacch Zila Puruskar
ii. Implementation of Peace Accord
iii. Assam Police Emergency Management System (APEMS) – Dial 112
iv. Strengthening of Infrastructure for Police
v. SU-SWASTHYARE SAMRIDDHI
vi. Cabinet Outreach Program
vii. Viability Gap Funding for Non-UDAN Routes
viii. Commercial Tree Plantation
ix. Exemption from Electricity Duty on Green Energy
x. Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy
xi. Climate Action
xii. Assam Mental Health & Social Care Scheme
xiii. Mobile Veterinary Units (MVUs) in Assam
xiv. Pension Fund for AAU
xv. Maximum Governance, Minimum Government
xvi. Mukhya Mantri Sohoj Griha Nirman Achoni (MMSGNA)
xvii. Drink from Tap (DFT) in Tezpur
xviii. Financial Institutional Reforms
xix. CCTV in Public Places
xx. Renaming of Directorate of Tea Tribes Welfare into ‘Directorate of Tea Tribes and Adivasi Welfare’
Major taxation, cess and other levies and duties proposed to undergo amendments are —
Exemption from Electricity Duty on Green Energy:
To promote and incentivize the generation and consumption of green and clean energy by trade and industries, the Finance Minister proposed to give exemption from payment of electricity duty on generation of power from renewable sources for captive consumption for one year. FM Ajanta Neog further appealed to all to come forward and take advantage of this exemption and contribute to the cause of renewable energy.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy:
In order to further promote use of electric vehicles, Ajanta Neog announced motor vehicle tax subvention of 2 per cent along with registration fee exemption to citizens buying EVs this year. The Transport Department will issue operational guidelines for the same, the Assam Finance Minister added.
Proposal of extension of Tax-Holiday for Agricultural Income Tax:
The FM proposed an extension of tax holiday on Agricultural Income Tax for a period of next three years.
Recounting the reforms:
Ajanta Neog further reiterated the “announced decisions regarding exemption of electricity Duty on Renewable energy generation, continuing of Agricultural Income Tax holiday. Our government has focused on improving tax collection and raising tax revenue through the constitution of a GST Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), a dedicated GST Audit Cell at Apex office and Institutional Strengthening through Capacity Building of officers and Exposure Visits to top performing States.”Subscribe Taxscan Premium to view the Judgment
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