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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Ahead of finance commission team’s visit, UP officials burn midnight oil, expect roadmap for financial consolidation

lucknow Updated: Oct 16, 2019 23:10 IST

Senior bureaucrats of the state are burning the midnight oil to prepare detailed presentations about the financial condition and total indebtedness of Uttar Pradesh ahead of a four-day visit by the 15th Finance Commission from October 19.

The state officials are expecting a roadmap for financial consolidation through debt management, higher devolution and revenue grants.

The presentations will also focus on implementation of development programmes, welfare schemes along with the total tax and non-tax revenue.

The move comes in the backdrop of chief minister Yogi Adityanath having already asked the departments to work on a roadmap to make the state a trillion dollar economy.

A senior officer said, “Yes, we are working on making detailed presentations by major departments before the commission. We will showcase whatever good work is being done in the state and make our demands about debt management so that the state gets rid of its growing indebtedness.”

Adityanath, along with his cabinet colleagues and senior officers, will have a meeting with the chairman and members of the 15th Finance Commission in Lucknow on October 22.

The state legislature held a 36-hour uninterrupted discussion from October 2 on sustainable development goals.

The chief minister wants to showcase his government’s work as the commission is likely to consider giving measurable performance- based incentives to states in view of their achievements in implementing flagship schemes, disaster resilient infrastructure and sustainable development goals.

The commission, headed by chairman NK Singh along with members Ajay Narayan Jha, Ashok Lahiri, Ramesh Chand, Anoop Singh and senior officers, proposes to begin its visit in Varanasi on October 19, to oversee implementation of flagship schemes.

It will also visit the handloom centre and urban rejuvenation project in Varanasi.

The commission will thereafter arrive in Lucknow on October 21 and begin holding meetings with panchayats, urban local bodies, representatives of trade and industry and leaders of political parties.

As per the terms of reference, the commission will make recommendations on distribution of taxes between the centre and the states, principles to govern grants in aid, measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a state to supplement the resources for panchayats and municipalities on the basis of recommendations of state finance commission. The commission will also review the current status of finances, deficit, debt levels, cash balances, fiscal discipline efforts and the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). It will recommend a roadmap for sound fiscal management.

UP’s total indebtedness is expected to go up substantially on March 31, 2020. In the past 10 years, the state’s indebtedness is estimated to have gone up 2 to 2.5 times. It is likely to reach Rs 473,563.22 crore on March 31, 2020 against Rs 174,971.83 crore as on March 31, 2010. Although UP’s indebtedness vis-à-vis the Gross State Domestic Product though came down from 38.6 per cent in 2009-2010 to 27.9 per cent in 2014-2015, it will touch the 30 per cent mark on March 31, 2020.