Maharashtra government imposes further curbs on expenditure, mulls shutting down schools with poor attendance across state
In a government resolution on Tuesday, the state government instructed the school education and higher education departments to review institutions with poor attendance and consider shutting them. It also put down regulations for optimising the staff strength.mumbai Updated: Aug 09, 2017 00:28 IST
After announcing a cut in planned revenue and capital expenditure to cope with the additional expenses for a farm loan waiver, the state government has imposed further restrictions for departments such as public works, energy and education to tighten expenditure.
In a government resolution on Tuesday, the state government instructed the school education and higher education departments to review institutions with poor attendance and consider shutting them. It also put down regulations for optimising the staff strength.
A state finance department official said, “There are a number of schools across the state with poor attendance. The school education department must review these and consider shifting the students to nearby schools, reducing the government’s expenses on administration, salaries and so on.”
He said many students are now interested in technical, engineering and vocational courses than the traditional arts, commerce and science streams. “The same goes for teaching courses. We have instructed the state higher education department to review the student-teacher ratio in such courses and consider measures such as closing divisions or colleges, not filling vacant posts, reducing the number of posts and so on,” he added.
Likewise, the state government has instructed the energy department to conduct a high-level review of beneficiaries of subsidised electricity for agricultural pumps on which the government spends substantially. Similarly, it has also directed the department to clampdown on power thefts.
The state public works department is expected to prioritise all incomplete works before budgeting for new ones. The government has also instructed that funds for building works cannot be disbursed unless the proposal has received an administrative or technical approval and the expenditure has been budgeted for.
The government resolution also issues strict instructions to all departments to seek the finance department’s approval before starting preliminary discussions with lenders for any loans for projects, considering the state government’s debt burden is close to Rs4 lakh crore.
HIT BY CASH CRUNCH
Following the government’s announcement of a Rs34,022-crore farm loan waiver, the state finance department last month announced a 30 per cent cut in revenue expenditure and a 20 per cent cut in capital expenditure to cope with the increased financial burden. The state government also has to spend Rs13,000 crore as payouts to municipal corporations and councils for octroi and local body tax in lieu of the Goods and Services Tax.