State spending less due to empty coffers: Opposition | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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State spending less due to empty coffers: Opposition

The Opposition has alleged that the state government’s expenditure of its planned budget is poor because its resources have been drying up.

mumbai Updated: Feb 23, 2011 16:58 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

The Opposition has alleged that the state government’s expenditure of its planned budget is poor because its resources have been drying up.

The Hindustan Times had reported on Wednesday that with less than a month to go for the new budget, the state government had spent only 36.7%, around Rs17,051 crore out of the total Rs46,375 crore kept aside for development works.

And, in the past 11 months, only 49%, ie around Rs22,954 crore, has been released from the state treasury.

“The state government announces a fantastic budget for development works every year, but the reality is that its coffers are empty given the huge debt and interest liabilities,” said Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai.

“Hence, the finance department ensures only half of the budget announced for development gets released,’’ he said.

Desai claimed no one in the state was looking into revenue generation.

“We think the state’s revenue generation is poor and to hide this the finance department wants to keep the deficit in check. Otherwise, if the spending is less than 50%, then our budget should show revenue surplus, said Priya Khan, director of Socio Political Analysis and Research Kendra (SPARK), an organisation that analyses government policies and budget.

In the past two years, the state government has been showing a revenue deficit – spending is more than revenue generated. Yet, spending of the planned budget has been less than 50%.

A majority of the state’s revenue goes in paying back its huge debt, interest payments besides establishment costs like salaries.

“Planned budget reflects progress of the state. The poor spending of this budget shows that the state is not progressing,” claimed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vinod Tawde.

The Opposition will demand a check on the spending in the budget session in March.

It will ask the state government to table half-yearly reports on actual funds released and spent before the state legislature.