Skip to main content

Gujarat budget mismatch: While tax revenues suggest rise, spending on people's welfare decelerates

  % of actuals to budget estimates
By Our Representative
Facts made available from Gujarat’s finance department show deceleration in spending during the first six months of the current financial year, between April and September 2014. A financial statement, accessed by Counterview, suggests that, while there had been acceleration in revenue collection, this has failed to improve the ability to spend on different projects floated by the Gujarat government for people’s “welfare”. Characterized as “unaudited” accounts, the figures show that, though the tax revenue of the Gujarat government rose from 45.7 per cent of the budget estimates during April-September 2013 to 47 per cent in April-September 2014, this did not impact the ability to raise spending.
The budget estimate for the current financial year, 2014-15, was set at 1,25,285.98 crore, and spending for the first six months of the financial year, if the official report is any indication, was Rs 42,735.02 crore, which is 34.1 per cent of the total . The statement says, as against this, the spending in the corresponding period – first six months of the fiscal 2013-14 – was 38 per cent of the total budget estimate. This suggests that spending this year was four per cent lower than last year.
What is even more interesting is that, while there has not been much of deceleration in the spending for the non-plan sector – which mainly consist of salaries, debt repayment, repayment on interest on principal amount, and other “necessary” expenditure, which the government must incur in order to run the government – as for the plan sector, there was considerable deceleration. The non-plan figure for April-September 2014 was Rs 25,237.41 crore, or 40.8 per cent of the total budget estimates as against 42.5 per cent during the corresponding period last year.
However, as for the planned expenditure, which consists of social sector projects for health, education, social justice and empowerment, water resources, electricity and other infrastructure facilities to the people, the Gujarat government could spend just 27.6 per cent of the total budgeted amount between April and September 2014 – Rs 17,497.61 crore out of 63,475.64 crore budgeted. This is against the actual spending of 32.5 per cent against the budget estimates during the corresponding period last year. This suggests that this year, till September, Gujarat government failed to spend five per cent less amount that what it had estimated compared to last year.
From available indications, the failure to spend collected funds may have happened because of poor budget-making by the Gujarat government. This was noticed by India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report, placed in the Gujarat state assembly in 2012, which said that the state government’s budgetary allocations were “unrealistic and lacked credibility”, and the deficiencies in financial management included “poor budgeting and expenditure control.” Giving the example of the state revenue department, it said, its expenditures in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 were sharply lower than the budgetary provisions.
CAG noted that the expenditure should be “uniformly spread” throughout the year and rush of expenditure during the last quarter and particularly the last month should be avoided. However, scrutiny of records revealed that there were cases of 20 per cent to 100 per cent expenditure being incurred in the last quarter of the year. It also found that allotted amount for specific schemes remained unutilized, and hence “parked”, in the so-called personal ledger accounts of District Development Officers (DDOs).
For instance, CAG said, the state government “failed to distribute” land among beneficiaries under the Gujarat Land Ceiling Act. Then, there were a “huge delay: in providing services to people by e-dhara centres, the IT enable service to land holders. There was also failure to utilize Central funds for updating and modernizing of land records. This indicated inadequacies in preparation of project proposals, slow progress of work as well as inadequate departmental monitoring and supervision, it underlined.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.