Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gujarat annual plan: Rs 10,000 crore likely to remain unspent in 2014-15

By Our Representative
A whopping Rs 10,000 crore is likely to remain unspent out of the total allocation for Rs 71,500 crore, set aside for annual plan by the Gujarat government for the year 2014-15. Annual plan consists of developmental expenditure for the social and economic upliftment of the population in such sectors like health and education. It differs from non-plan expenditure, which the government must spend for paying debts, interest on loans, salaries to government employees, and other such expenditure, which does not directly benefit people.
Revealing this, Gujarat’s independent budget analysis centre, Pathey, has calculated that the state government’s annual plan spending is likely to particularly poor in such areas like agriculture, in which as against the allocation of Rs 4,358 crore, the actual spending would be Rs 3,573 crore; rural development, in which the spending would be Rs 2017 crore against the allocation of Rs 2,311 crore; irrigation and flood control, in which the spending would be Rs 10,366 crore as against the allocation of Rs 13,035 crore, and so on.
As against this, interestingly, the Gujarat government is likely to overspend in infrastructure sectors, such as energy, transport and communications. Be that as it may, according to Pathey, at the end of the financial year on March 31, 2015, Gujarat government may have spent a total of Rs 61,610.01 crore as against the overall annual plan allocation of Rs 71,500 crore. This means that the actual spending will fall short of 14 per cent of the annual plan budget.
Pathey’s analysis further shows that, over the years, Gujarat government’s spending as percentage of social services it renders in such areas like provision of health, education, water supply, and so on, to the people has been progressively going down. Thus, while in 2007-08, the allocation for social services was Rs 6,676 crore, and the spending was Rs 6,793 crore, suggesting that the government overspent by a little less than 2 per cent, but things turned bad next year onwards.
Thus, in 2008-09, the allocation for social services was Rs 8,856 crore, while the spending was Rs 8,213 crore (a shortfall of seven per cent); in 2009-10, the allocation was Rs 10,280 crore, while the spending was Rs 9,626 crore (shortfall of six per cent); and in 2010-11, the allocation was Rs 12,994 crore, but the spending was Rs 11,994 crore (shortfall of 11 per cent).
Thereafter, the spending picked up somewhat – in 2011-12, the allocation was Rs 15,024 crore, while the spending was Rs 14,383 crore (shortfall of four per cent), followed by allocation of Rs 20,534 crore in 2012-13, and spending of Rs 19,775 crore (shortfall of four per cent).
However, things turned worse in 2013-14, when the allocation was Rs 24,831 crore, and the spending was Rs 20,904 crore, with the shortfall reaching 16 per cent. The year 2014-15 is likely to be the worst of all – according to Pathey’s calculation, as against the allocation of Rs 34,951 crore, the actual spending is unlikely to cross Rs 28,738 crore, which means that a huge 18 per cent of the amount will remain idle at the end of this financial year.

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