Chandigarh: Haryana government on Wednesday said fresh taxes can be imposed as and when the situation warrants, though there was no proposal as of now to put financial burden on people.
"We are not imposing taxes and there is no intention to do so (now) if there is an emergency then tax can be imposed," Finance Minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha said replying to the three-day discussion on the budget for 2013-14 presented by him last week in the Assembly.
Opposition parties including INLD and BJP had been seeking assurance from the Finance Minister for not imposing any taxes through “backdoor entry” after the presentation of the state budget which was kept free of fresh tax proposals.
Rejecting the charge of Opposition parties which described the Haryana budget directionless and visionless, Chattha said that the budget was aimed at bringing overall development in the state while the state’s revenue and fiscal deficit was also sustainable.
"The budget is not directionless as described by leaders of opposition parties. How can it be directionless when the budget has proposed to provide houses for 3.5 lakh poor families in urban and rural areas with state government providing financial help in this regard,” he asserted.
"Haryana is known for best managed finances in the country," he said. On the opposition benches’ charge of “ballooning” borrowing, Chattha said the state’s debt was sustainable as per Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Drawing comparison with debt of Punjab, Chattha said, "Punjab’s debt was 33.4 percent of GSDP while Haryana’s was 16.47 percent of GSDP."
He also said that state government had to borrow money as people raised funds for their needs like for buying cars, houses. “You cannot avoid taking debt. But we spend the money on development purposes,” he asserted.
Intervening during Chattha’s speech, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that Gujarat state’s debt to GSDP ratio was 19.89 percent was higher than the Haryana’s ratio.  “Gujarat’s fiscal deficit is also 2.47 percent while Haryana’ fiscal deficit stands at 2.20 percent,” he added.
INLD leader Ashok Arora demanded that constitution of house committee for inquiring the non-payment of Rs 1,000 crore to farmers. On the issue of teachers not taking classes in schools in remote villages, Chattha asked members of the assembly to keep a check on the attendance of the teachers in the schools located in their constituencies in order to ensure their presence.


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