West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today described the Budget presented in the state Assembly by Finance Minister Amit Mitra as “a budget for maa-mati-manush (mother, soil, masses)”.
“It is a Budget for maa-mati-manush,” Banerjee told reporters after presentation of the Budget.
She said that the Budget aimed at an all-round development of the society starting from the rural, urban, farmers, small industry and students.
Banerjee said that despite the large debt burden on its shoulders, the state government had been able to increase tax collection progressively, simply by way of tax reforms which no other state had done.
“One day our revenue collection might cross Rs 50,000 crore,” she said.
The Budget has made provisions for farmers by giving them assistance of Rs 10,000 for purchase of pumps and for students by providing them with 40 lakh cycles in two years to support their education.
“We have kept two years’ time because there will be difficulty in sourcing 40 lakh cycles in a short time. It will be nice if new cycle factories come up in the state”, she said.
The budget had also given relief to the small-scale sector, VAT and stamp duty reliefs.
Despite the financial hurdles, the government was continuing with all developmental work.
Finance Minister Amit Mitra, while responding to the possible tax revenue shortfall, said that the full month of March was still ahead.
“Revenue collection is the highest in that month and we are confident of meeting the budgeted target,” he said.