With the state’s debt reaching Rs 3.33 lakh crore, according to the economic survey tabled in the legislature on Thursday, the financial situation of the state government remains worrisome.
Like previous years, the gap between the revenue and expenditure incurred on development projects and establishment widened in 2015-16. The gap or revenue deficit was estimated at Rs 3,757 crore at the beginning of the year, but is now expected to go further by the end of the year. Similarly, the fiscal deficit – the gap between its earnings, including the loans and expenditure -- dipped by 1.6% in the current fiscal, resulting in more borrowings this year. It is expected to result in a rise in the state’s debt next year.
The fiscal and revenue deficits are directly linked to the debt stock of the state. The overall debt of the state has reached Rs 3.33 lakh crore in the fiscal and its percentage is 16.9 of GSDP, although it is below the permitted limit of 25% set by the Centre. The debt burden comes at a heavy price, as the state spends Rs 27,663 crore or 9.1% of the total budget on the interest of the debt. The interest burden is 13% more than the estimated Rs 24,283 crore at the beginning of the year.
On the other hand, the state government’s revenue from various sources such as excise, stamp duty and registration, sales tax (revenue receipts) has dipped and was at 63.8% in the current fiscal. The revenue received in the fiscal year is Rs 1.98,231 crore, against the Rs 1,80,794 crore in the previous fiscal. The revenue expenditure, the spending on development works and establishment and other welfare projects, of the state government rose to Rs 2,01,988 crore against Rs 1,94,677 crore in the previous year.
Although the state has been boasting of having inked 2,594 MoUs with an estimated investment of Rs 7.94 lakh crore, the economic survey showed poor rate of actual investment from such agreements in the past 25 years. From 1991 to 2015, the government signed 19,053 MoUs, with investment worth Rs 10,97,337 crore, of which 8,497 projects with the proposed investment of merely Rs 2,62,631 crore have been commissioned. CM Devendra Fadnavis said the special task force will ensure an impressive rate of implementation.