Gandhinagar: Gujarat state Assembly on Monday passed the Rs 1,14,450 crore budget for  the year 2013-14 with majority voice vote.
While addressing the House during the discussion on finance department's budgetary demands, Finance Minister Nitin Patel assured the house that every paisa of the state budget would be used for the development of the people of Gujarat.
"We will uphold the faith the people of the state has put into the state leadership of the Chief Minister by electing him for the fourth time and will work hard for the upliftment of people's standard of living," he said.
On February 12, 2013 the Narendra Modi-led government presented the state budget of Rs 1,14,450 crore with a focus on development of social sectors, where his government has come under scanner for lagging behind in human development index (HDI) indicators, such as malnutrition.
The budget levies new taxes of Rs 289 crore, while it gives tax relief of Rs 245 crore in different sectors. The budget proposes to generate surplus of Rs 840.45 crore.
The debt of the state government at this stage is Rs 1.33 lakh crore and in the year 2013-14 it is projected to further go north to 1.58 lakh crore.
Refuting the allegations of increased debt Patel said: "Every year there has been a marked improvement in the state's public debt. In the year 2004-05 public debt was 28.48 percent of GSDP, which has come down to 19.93 per cent in the year 2012-13."
He also defended the non-reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel by saying, "There is no question of reduction of VAT on petrol and diesel as rate in our state is more or less at par with most of other states."


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