The additional allocation of constituency development funds to legislators will put an extra burden of Rs170 crore to the state’s exchequer. This information was given in the supplementary demands of Rs3,355 crore that were placed on Monday for getting the state legislature’s approval.
Supplementary demands are tabled to make budgetary provision for the works/schemes that are not included in the annual budget and when the government needs to withdraw the money from its contingency funds to spend in an emergency. The state presented its annual plan of Rs41,500 crore in March this year. Later the Planning Commission of India increased it to Rs42,000 crore.
The reason for allotting more money to legislators is that their constituency development fund was increased from Rs1.5 crore to Rs2 crore. To get their demand approved, legislators had cited inflation. There are 289 members in the assembly and 78 sit in the council.
The state government sought the state legislature’s approval for additional expenditure for 29 departments including public works (Rs700 crore), industry (Rs400 crore), planning (Rs323 crore), rural development (Rs254 crore), water resources (Rs211 crore), general administration (Rs205 crore), energy (Rs186 crore), cooperation (Rs134 crore) and public health (Rs88 crore).
Of their extra funds, the public works department will use more than Rs530 crore for building bridges and roads.
Industry will offer incentives to small, medium and mega projects so that they do not go to neighbouring states.
The planning department will provide for legislators development funds. The water resources department will repair dams, general administration will provide extra grants to Mihan project in Nagpur and the energy department will offer subsidies on agriculture and power loom tariff and cooperations will give subsidy to sugar mills.
A senior state government official said that compared to previous years, this year’s supplementary demands were much less. “Massive allocations through supplementary demands indicate bad planning of the annual budget. This year so far, the government seems to have followed fiscal discipline.”