Chennai: Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister and finance minister O. Panneerselvam presented the state’s budget for the financial year 2018-19 on Thursday.

Tabling the first budget after the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), Panneerselvam said the total revenue receipts, including central transfers, were estimated at Rs1.76 trillion during 2018-19.

“There is a significant fall in the growth of Tamil Nadu’s tax revenue in 2017-18 due to fall in commercial tax and state excise which have negatively impacted the revenue receipts," said Panneerselvam.

The revenue expenditure for the year was estimated to be Rs1.94 trillion, a growth of 11.22% over the revised estimates of 2017-18.

During the period from July 2017 and February 2018, the state has received Rs632 crore as GST compensation from the centre. Tamil Nadu, which had opposed the implementation of GST, informed the assembly that it estimated revenue of Rs86,859 crore from GST for 2018-19.

The net outstanding debt of the state government is pegged at Rs3.55 trillion by 31 March 2019, said Panneerselvam. Revenue deficit would stand at Rs17,491 crore for the financial year 2018-19 and the fiscal deficit projected is Rs44,481 crore.

“Despite the temporary setbacks, the economy is slowly picking up, which is evident from the increase in GSDP growth rate from 4.85% in 2012-13 to 8.03% in 2017-18," Panneerselvam said.

The fiscal deficit to gross state domestic product (GSDP) ratio is estimated at 2.79%, which is well below the 3% Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management (FRBM) norm.

“It is a good sign that the fiscal deficit to GSDP ratio is estimated at 2.79%, below the 3% fiscal norm. But, the increase in the revenue expenditure is a matter of concern," said the Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) in a statement.

“While the budget figures are definitely important, what is more important are clear cut action plans and well defined timelines, if the State has to maintain its pole position in terms of economic and social development amidst tough competition from neighbouring states," said MCCI vice-president, Gayathri Sriram.

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