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Gujarat levies entertainment tax of Rs 200 a year on DTH connections
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Gandhinagar, June 30 Levying entertainment tax at the rate of Rs 200 a year per television connection on houses having direct-to-home (DTH) facility, the Finance Minister, Mr Vajubhai Vala, on Tuesday presented a Rs 53.76-crore surplus Budget in the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha for the fiscal 2009-10.

According to the Modified Budget Estimates for 2009-10, the surplus would be Rs 47.76 crore and the proposed tax would net an additional revenue of Rs 6 crore, the State apparently having about three lakh DTH connections at present.

Briefing presspersons after the Budget speech, Mr Vala said the DTH tax had been levied to remove a “discrepancy” vis-À-vis the houses connected with cable TV, which were paying Rs 8 crore a year as entertainment tax.

A bill proposing the necessary amendments in the Gujarat Entertainment Tax Act will be presented in the House during the ongoing Budget session. In the current economic scenario, considering the fiscal necessities and responsibilities of the State, it would be appropriate to maintain status quo as regards the remaining tax provisions for the present, the Minister said.

Total income has been estimated at Rs 57,487 crore, out of which revenue receipt is at Rs 41,815 crore, including estimates of State’s share in Central taxes at Rs 6,119 crore.

Capital receipt has been put at Rs 14,422 crore.

Out of the total estimated expenditure of Rs 57,440 crore, the expenditure on revenue account is Rs 45,728 crore and capital account has been estimated at Rs 11,711 crore.

The deficit on revenue account is Rs 3,919 crore, mainly due to the extra burden of Rs 4,200 crore due to implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations, a shortfall of Rs 1,500 crore by way of oil royalty from the Centre and reduction of the State’s share in Central taxes to the tune of Rs 600 crore, Mr Vala added.

New plans

Announcing new plans in the Golden Jubilee Year of the foundation of Gujarat State, he said a total provision of Rs 2,350 crore has been made under the “Swarnim Jayanti Mukhya Mantri Shaheri Vikas Yojana” comprising various schemes for urban areas. Other notable provisions made include Rs 1,444 crore for agriculture, Rs 1,050 crore for fisheries development, Rs 1,600 crore for education, a 43 per cent increase in health budget to the tune of Rs 1,072 crore, Rs 1,550 crore for water supply, Rs 2,075 crore for roads and buildings, Rs 928 crore for energy and petrochemicals, and Rs 951 crore for industries and mines.

The Annual Plan size for Gujarat for 2009-10 has been proposed at Rs 23,275 crore, 11 per cent up over the previous fiscal. In the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12), Gujarat’s target has been set at Rs 1,11,111 crore, which is more than the total amount of all the Five-Year Plans after formation of the State in 1960.

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