State to ask Centre for time to improve revenue

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2014 00:45 IST

Worried about the loss of about Rs800 crore grant because of the revenue deficit in the state, the new government has decided to request the Centre for more time to ensure surplus. The peril of a huge revenue deficit, estimated to be around Rs26,000 crore by the end of the fiscal year, is looming large because of the election sops announced by the former Congress- Nationalist Congress party (NCP) government.

The projected deficit, in the budget tabled in June 2014, was Rs4,100 crore, which is estimated to go up considerably.

The state can lose the central annual grants for deviations in financial reform and budgetary management, according to the rules of the 13th Planning Commission.

“We are in the last year of the 13th Planning Commission and there is a possibility of the state losing its grant. We have decided to request the Centre to give us more time to take the state revenue in surplus. We are hopeful that the government will accept the demand, considering the change in leadership,” Swadheen Kshatriya, chief secretary, told HT.

When asked how much time the government is going to seek, he said they are demanding “reasonable time” after the fiscal ends on March 31, 2015.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had asserted that his government will review the sops and schemes announced by the outgoing government.
He claimed if the government implements the schemes, the annual burden on the exchequer will be close to Rs52,000 crore.

According to officials in the finance department, the waivers given to farmers on their electricity bills and free medicines in government hospitals alone are expected to cost the government Rs15,000 crore.

Fadnavis said most of the schemes announced were non-starters because of the absence of budgetary allocations.

Finance department officials said compensation of more than Rs12,000 crore given to farmers for their losses because of drought, floods and hailstorm in the past three years are major factors for the revenue deficit.

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