Poll-centric populism is costing Haryana dear. Finance minister Harmohinder Singh Chatha’s elation over presenting a tax-free budget for 2014-15 financial year on Friday looked misplaced as the revenue deficit for 2014-15 fiscal — pegged at Rs 5,012 crore — is set to go through the roof.
The revenue deficit pegged at Rs 2,443 crore in the budget estimates for 2013-14 financial year has already skyrocketed to Rs 5,612 crore (as per revised estimates) thanks to the munificence of a poll-bound state.
Haryana goes to the polls later this year and chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been on a sop distribution spree for the past couple of months. Facing anti-incumbency, the nine-year-old Congress regime is pulling out all stops as it approaches the assembly polls.