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

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

Polygamy in India "down" in 45 yrs: Muslims' from 5.7 to 2.55%, Hindus' 5.8 to 1.77%, "common" in SCs, STs

By Rajiv Shah
Amidst All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) justifying polygamy, saying it “meets social and moral needs and the provision for it stems from concern and sympathy for women”, facts suggest the the practice is down from 5.7 per cent of Muslim families in 1961 to 2.55 per cent in 2006.