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

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.