Punjab government has not been successful in containing the revenue deficit as projected in its successive budgets presented in past few years, as per information collected from budget documents.
Punjab had projected a revenue deficit of Rs 1,000.18 crore in 2008-09 but the state actually had a deficit of Rs 3,856.20 crore, almost three times the budgeted figure, the documents suggest.
This deficit again swelled to Rs 5,251.36 crore and 5,288.72 crore in 2009-10 and 2010-11 against the budgeted figure of Rs 4,233.92 crore and 3,787.73 crore respectively.
In 2011-12, Punjab targeted a deficit of Rs 3,378.99 crore but it was projected to shoot up to Rs 6,838 crore in the state budget presented by Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa.
The state projected a revenue deficit of 0.65 per cent in 2008-09 but it shot up to 2.20 per cent. Similarly it remained on higher side in 2009-10 and 2010-11 at 2.63 per cent and 2.35 per cent respectively.
The Opposition Congress party in the state has charged the SAD-BJP led government with not meeting the targets set under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2011.
On the revenue front too, the Punjab government has been unable to mobilise the budgeted revenue collection figure.
The revenue receipts were short of budgeted estimates by 15 per cent in 2009-10 and 7 per cent in 2010-11, the documents suggest.
According to noted economist RS Ghuman: "State finance ministers always want to present good budget before the public but they could not bring down their (revenue) deficits in the wake of unchecked rising unproductive expenditure and rampant tax evasion prevailing in the state."