First BJP Budget in Tripura evokes mix response

A Correspondent
Agartala, June 21: The first budget presented by finance minister Jishnu Devvarma belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party in 46 year history of the Tripura Assembly since it attained statehood in 1972 has shown some new dimension which evoked a mixed response in various quarter.

All the 45 previous budgets were placed by ministers belonging either to Congress or the CPI(M), both akin to socialist ideology, and carefully avoided any step to generate state’s own income and mostly dependent on central assistance.

The most glaring difference of the budget placed by the finance minister with previous years was imposition or enhancement of tax to generate revenue from own sources which none of his predecessors dared to fearing popular backlash.

Devvarma announced increase of Sales Tax on petrol, diesel and natural gas and also proposed enhancement of road tax. His selection of the items where to impose tax may provoke some controversy but many welcome his attempts to break the jinx.

While the political parties reacted to the budget in their expected line, the independent observers were of the view that it was a path breaking budget. A commentator in a local daily said the finance minister made an attempt to bring a change in the state’s fiscal policy.

In all previous years the finance ministers kept their budget free from tax but in the middle of the year increased it through administrative order. ‘It is good that the minister dared to come out of this ambiguity’, the commentator said.

The finance minister also announced that the persons going to be appointed as state government employee from July 1, 2018 will come under new pension policy which the previous Left Front government never accepted. The minister said it will save a huge amount in the state exchequer.