People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 13

March  20, 2011

Tripra Govt Presents Tax-Free Pro-People Budget


Haripada Das


WHILE facing a serious resource crunch consequent upon the gross deprivation meted out to Tripura by the 13th Finance Commission through its award, the state’s finance minister presented on March 10 yet another tax-free, pro-people budget for the year 2011-12 in the assembly. 


The minister, Badal Chowdhury, expressed his dismay and shock at the magnitude of corruption in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), distribution of 2-G spectrum, Adarsh housing society in Mumbai and the land scam in Karnataka etc, that involved of misappropriation huge public funds. Rampant corruption and tax evasion by big corporate houses has led to siphoning off Indian money and huge accumulation of black money in the country and abroad. This is a veritable parallel economy that impedes the economic growth of the country. All these are ominous manifestation of unbridled liberalisation pursued by the central government, Chowdhury asserted.


As regards Tripura budget for fiscal 2011-12, all round development is the key concern of this year’s budget proposals worth Rs 6859.45 crore, which is 9 per cent higher than the previous year. Allocation in plan outlay has been raised to 21.32 per cent compared to the last year. As the total receipt anticipated is Rs 6612.87 crore, the budget leaves a deficit of Rs 246.58 crore which may be adjusted by means of raising revenue collection and prudent fiscal management, Chowdhury said.


Broadly outlining the backdrop of resource crunch arising out of the gross discrimination meted out by the 13th Finance Commission to the state, Chowdhury in his budget speech said the state had been awarded Rs 16,349.13 crore for non-plan revenue expenditure against the state’s sufficiently rational demand of Rs 26,848.76 crore, resulting in the shortfall of Rs 10,499.63 crore. It is impossible for a state like Tripura, which is an underdeveloped special category state, to meet this huge gap, the minister remarked. He also expressed dismay over the drastic reduction in the non-plan gap grant allocation by Rs 1041.20 crore from Rs 5494.20 crore granted by the 12th Finance Commission to Rs 4453.00 crore by the 13th Finance Commission.


Chowdhury’s budget speech expressed strong displeasure over the 13th Finance Commission’s approach to take 2005-06, the first year of the present five-year plan, for computation of the salary of employees and 2007-08 for computing the pension expenditure. This is a deviation from the previous Finance Commissions who based on quantum of non-plan committed expenditure (salary and pension etc) spent in the last year of the plan-period to assess the yearly expenditure in the following years. By this deviation, the 13th FC consciously ignored the salary increases of the state owing to new recruitment, regularisation of services of the DRW, PTW and fixed pay employees etc, during the period 2005-06 to 2009-10. The 13th FC considered only 35 per cent salary increases for revision of pay of the employees against the actual hike of 60 per cent for the purpose.


As for the assessment of non-plan salary and pension expenditure for the outgoing financial year (2010-11), the state government’s estimates were Rs 2027.19 crore and Rs 661.50 crore for salary and pension respectively, taking into consideration the revised pay and salary given effect from January 1, 2010. But the 13th Finance Commission awarded only Rs 1505.05 crore and Rs 455.21 crore respectively, thus creating a shortfall of Rs 728.43 crore. This would have a cascading affect in the following plan-years, Chowdhury informed. 


To add salt to the injury, Finance Commission has also closed the doors for resource mobilisation through open market borrowing, for developmental needs. While the Planning Commission allowed market borrowing up to the extent of Rs 367.69 crore for annual plan 2010-11, the Finance Commission limited the quantum of market borrowing by imposing a ceiling of three per cent the gross state domestic product (GSDP) for the same financial year, thus pushing the state further back.


The Tripura finance minister referred to his discussion with the Planning Commission and union Finance Ministry officials for finalisation of the state’s plan allocation. During the discussion, the central government vehemently tried to impose on the state some anti-people liberalisation policies, suggesting a freeze on employment, abolition of vacant posts, adoption of a new pension policy to unburden the state’s pension expenditure, outsourcing the works under planned schemes etc. In his address to the house, however, Chowdhury steadfastly expressed the state government’s strong defiance to the norms the centre tried to impose. He said if these policies were accepted by the state where private sector is very limited, major avenues of employment of the youth would get closed, which would ultimately give rise to social unrest. This is how the Left Front government is adopting alternative economic policies in the midst of a fund constraint and non-cooperation from the centre.


It was in the background of the 13th FC’s discrimination and the centre’s step-motherly attitude, Chowdhury presented his budget proposals in the Tripura legislative assembly for the year 2011-12. It has the following highlights and priorities:


i) No new tax imposed.

ii) 9 per cent increase in budget size than the previous year.

iii) 21 per cent of total budgetary allocation for education.

iv) Stress on development of the land given allotment in Forest Rights Act.

v) Emphasis on raising the per capita protein and nutrition intake.

vi) Yearly afforestation target of 18,000 hectares.

vii) Upgradation of 35 schools and establishment of a new college.

viii) Extension of irrigation to an additional 16.8 thousand hectares of land.

ix) Sinking of 120 deep tubewells, 1250 shallow tubewells, and 150 iron removal plant for drinking water purposes.

x) Provision of construction of sanitary toilets in about 30,000 houses, 1200 schools and 100 sanitary complexes.

xi) Free electricity connections for about one lakh BPL families.

xii) Implementation of the Master Plan of Rs 200 crore for upgrading the sewerage system in Agartala city.

xiii) Setting up one hundred new health sub-centres and upgradation of 10 public health centres (PHC) to the national public health standards.

xiv) Construction of a new Raj Bhavan in order to preserve the present Raj Bhavan as a heritage building.  

The sector-wise percentage of resource collection and expenditure of the year’s budget has been given in the table alongside.






 Per cent


 Per cent

Central allocation plan outlay


Pension & loan wavering


Share of Central taxes




Central assistance in non-plan expenses



Public Works


Revenue collection






Rural Development and Panchayats


Allocation in central Schemes


Health & Family welfare


NEC and other allocations


Agriculture & allied sectors




Tribal welfare