Tamil Nadu Budget for FY22-23 to be presented on March 18

In a statement, Finance Minister Thiaga Rajan said that it will be an e-budget for the second consecutive year.
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Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Dr P Thiaga Rajan (PTR) on Wednesday said that the state budget for the financial year 2022-2023 will be presented at 10 am on March 18 in the legislative assembly hall at Fort St George. In a statement, Thiaga Rajan said that it will be an e-budget for the second consecutive year. 

The Business Advisory Committee will also decide on the date of presentation of the Agriculture budget and the number of days to debate on the demands for grants for departments.

The finance minister will present a vote-on-account on March 24 for the first few months of the financial year 2022-23 and the final supplementary estimates for 2021-22. The state is eagerly expecting a welfare-oriented budget with special emphasis on the health sector. 

Economist and retired Professor Dr. Kalimuthu Palaniswamy told IANS, "People of Tamil Nadu are eagerly waiting for the welfare schemes to be announced in the second budget of Palanivel Thiaga Rajan."

With the ruling DMK party trouncing the opposition in the local body polls, the Tamil Nadu government may get into a reform mode to beef up its revenues, prune down its expenses, debt, interest outgo and others. 

State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan had earlier said the financial problems of the state can be corrected with "once in a generation" reforms and business as "usual approach" cannot continue.

"The upcoming Tamil Nadu budget can be reformatory in some aspects. They can roll back petrol price reduction citing the international hike in crude oil prices. The other welfare measures can be met comfortably as one time cash payments like the Covid-19 relief will not be there," Dr Gowri Ramachandran, an economist earlier told IANS.

Last year, the government reduced the price of petrol by Rs 3/litre resulting in a revenue loss of Rs 1,160 crore per annum.

Incidentally, Rajan had ruled out any reduction in the tax rates on petrol/diesel as it would reduce the state's revenue by about Rs 1,050 crore.

Tamil Nadu is one of the debt laden states with its borrowing as on March 31, 2022, standing at Rs 5,77,987 crore.

The credit rating agency Care Ratings, in a recent report, said that Tamil Nadu has borrowed a sum of Rs 62,400 crore between April 8, 2021 and February 22, 2022.

In order to have a steady source of finance, the Tamil Nadu government wants the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation regime to be extended till June 6, 2024 from June 30, 2022.

In his maiden budget speech, Rajan said the government has plans to borrow Rs 92,484.50 crore during FY22.

The expense towards interest payment and servicing of debt for FY22 was estimated at about Rs 44,700 crore.

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