Tamil Nadu FM Palanivel Thiaga Rajan presents State Budget 2023: Key Highlights

Tamil Nadu Budget - Tamil Nadu Finance Minister - State Budget 2023 - State Budget Highlights - Palanivel Thiaga Rajan - Budget 2023 - Taxscan

The Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan has presented the budget for 2023-24 in the state legislative assembly. He announced several initiatives and allocations in the state’s budget for the upcoming financial year.

The Key Highlights from the Budget Speech are as follows: –

The State government has decided to revise the guideline value to match the rates prevailing until 8th June 2017 and reduce the registration fee to 2%. This means that for deeds of sale, gift, and exchange, a 5% stamp duty, 2% transfer duty, and 2% registration fee will be applicable. For non-family settlements, a 7% stamp duty and 2% registration fee will be applicable. This measure will greatly benefit the poor and middle class, especially those who avail bank loans to buy homes.

As a result of the Government’s structural and systemic reforms, the fiscal position of TANGEDCO has improved slightly, and it is expected that TANGEDCO’s losses will decrease to ₹7,825 crores in 2022-23 from ₹11,955 crores in 2021-22. The Tamil Nadu Government will provide ₹14,063 crores in the Budget Estimates for various subsidies provided to TANGEDCO. In addition, the government will introduce a comprehensive policy to promote investment in pumped hydroelectric storage in the State.

To increase the State’s installed capacity for power generation by 2030, the Government plans to add 33,000 MW, with a high priority given to developing renewable energy sources. The Government aims to increase the contribution of green energy to the State grid from 20.88% to 50% by 2030 through additional capacity creation. To achieve this goal, the State Government will create a dedicated Special Purpose Vehicle to transform Tamil Nadu into a green powerhouse. Furthermore, a new policy on repowering windmills in the State will be developed.

To promote Tamil Nadu as a global hub for IT/ITeS, the State Government will establish ‘Tamil Nadu Tech City’ (TNTech city) at Chennai, Coimbatore, and Hosur. This will meet the increasing demand for quality office space.

The Tamil Nadu government will set up a ‘Unified Digital Infrastructure’ to establish better connectivity and provide various digital services at an affordable cost. This will create a high-speed optical fibre network from the State headquarters to all districts.

Women entrepreneurs face difficulties in accessing adequate, timely credit and marketing of products. To address these challenges, the State Government will establish an exclusive ‘Start-up Mission’ for women.

The government of Tamil Nadu plans to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle in collaboration with Indian Railways through TIDCO to identify and undertake new railway projects in the state, as the current share of railways in the modal mix of the transportation system is relatively low compared to other states. The Transport Department has been allocated ₹8,056 crores in the Budget Estimates for this purpose.

The Tamil Nadu Finance Minister announced during his Budget speech that women family heads meeting specific criteria will receive a monthly honorarium of ₹1,000 from the next financial year. This scheme, a key poll promise of the DMK, will be launched by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on September 15. An allocation of ₹7,000 crore has been made for this scheme, and guidelines will be released soon.

The Tamil Nadu Government will implement the ‘Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam’ at a cost of ₹1,000 crores over the next three years to address infrastructure deficits and development gaps in North Chennai. This scheme will be implemented by converging the funds of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency with ongoing schemes.

To improve the state’s transportation system, the government will procure 1,000 new buses and renovate 500 old buses at a cost of ₹500 crores. The Budget Estimates also include an allocation of ₹2,800 crores as subsidies towards free bus travel for women, ₹1,500 crores as subsidy for student concession in bus fare, and ₹2,000 crores as diesel subsidy.

The Tamil Nadu Government plans to establish the 18th wildlife sanctuary in the state, the Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, with an extent of 80,567 hectares in the forest areas of Anthiyur and Gobichettipalayam Taluks in Erode district, to link the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve with Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary. Additionally, the government will set up an International Bird Centre at Marakkanam at an estimated cost of ₹25 crores.

The Naan Mudhalvan scheme will receive an allocation of ₹50 crores to continue training engineering and arts and science students, as well as faculty members.

The government plans to build a four-way lane overbridge from Teynampet to Saidapet at an outlay of ₹621 crores to improve road infrastructure in Chennai. Additionally, the government will develop bus depots as modern transit junctions to improve passenger experience, starting with Vadapalani, Thiruvanmiyur, and Vyasarpadi in the first phase and Tambaram, Tiruvottiyur, and Saidapet in the second phase. An investment of ₹1,600 crore and ₹1,347 crores, respectively, have been allocated for these phases.

Civil service aspirants will receive financial assistance of ₹7,500 per month for 10 months to prepare for the preliminary examination. Those who pass the preliminary examination will be given a lump sum of ₹25,000. Tamil Nadu Skills Development Corporation has been allocated ₹10 crores for this programme.

The Higher Education Department has been allocated ₹6,967 crores in this Budget.

To promote economic development among SC/ST entrepreneurs, a new scheme named the ‘Annal Ambedkar Business Champions Scheme’ will be launched in the upcoming fiscal year. The scheme will provide a 35% capital subsidy and a 6% interest subsidy for loans to purchase machinery and equipment. The Budget Estimates 2023-24 has allocated a sum of ₹100 crores for this scheme.

The government plans to lay a Metro Rail track covering Avinashi Road and Sathyamangalam Road in the Coimbatore district, costing ₹9,000 crores. Another Metro Rail project connecting Othakadai and Thirumangalam in Madurai district will be executed at a cost of ₹8,500 crores, with funding from international credit institutions.

The state’s own tax revenues, which were 8% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) during 2006-2011, have declined to 5.58% in 2020-21, which is much lower than other large states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, due to the government’s efforts, the Tax-GSDP ratio has increased to 6.11% in the current year. The Finance Minister stresses that concerted action is required to further raise the ratio to find financial resources for welfare schemes.

The Environment, Climate Change and Forests Department have been allocated a sum of ₹1,248 crores. Additionally, ₹500 crores has been earmarked to expand the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme for students, benefiting 18 lakh students. New classrooms and laboratories will be completed this year in 55 government colleges. A state-of-the-art Global Sports hub will be set up in Chennai through CMDA. The Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare will receive a sum of ₹3,513 crores, and modernised hostels for Adi Dravidar students will be established in Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi, and the Nilgiris districts with a budget outlay of ₹100 crores.

The Finance Minister announces that the revenue deficit has been brought down by ₹30,000 crores from ₹62,000 crores. An integrated portal will be launched to ensure that students receive education assistance without any delay. The ‘Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam’ scheme will be extended to industrial workers, benefiting migrant workers.

Further, The State budget proposes to allocate ₹500 crores to establish a training centre for technical teachers, and also proposes the creation of Factory Skill Schools, according to Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan.

The 1,000-bed Kalaignar Memorial Hospital, currently under construction in Guindy, Chennai, will be open to the public by the end of this year. Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan has also announced plans to establish a Chola Museum in Thanjavur to showcase the achievements of the Chola kings. To promote the use of Tamil in computers, the Tamil Nadu government will hold an international Tamil computing conference.

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