Centre's promised higher spending not materialising
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, JAN. 1. Despite the numerous announcements by the Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, that he was focusing on increased expenditure to pump up the recession-hit economy, official data show that the Government's total expenditure in percentage terms till November 2001 remained stagnant at last year's level.
Details of Government's revenue position released by the Controller General of Accounts show that during April-November 2001-02, the Central Government has been able to spend 53.5 per cent of its annual targeted expenditure. This compares almost to the dot with the percentage of expenditure undertaken during the same period in the previous fiscal year at 53.4 per cent.
A higher promised expenditure this year was highlighted as the major response of the Government to pump prime the economy. The higher spending was expected to create demand for industry, particularly sectors such as steel, cement and other construction material as the spending was to be focused on road construction and other infrastructure projects like power.
But in spite of expenditure percentage remaining the same as last year, the lower revenue inflows have raised the level of fiscal deficit this year. Between April and November this fiscal, the fiscal deficit reached a level of 68 per cent of the annual target against a deficit level of 57.8 per cent in the comparable period of previous fiscal.
Even the revenue deficit, which again has been the focus of the Finance Minister's concerns, is at a high of 75.2 per cent of the yearly target till November 2001, significantly higher than 55.1 per cent deficit piled up last fiscal during the same period. The primary deficit till November was way ahead of the annual target, working out to 481.6 per cent of what has been put in the budget. The comparable primary deficit during the previous fiscal was 71.8 per cent.
The Government's market borrowings also reached the annual target by November itself, reaching a level of 93 per cent of the annual budgeted figure. In the previous fiscal, the comparable borrowings were at 83 per cent of the annual target.
On the inflow side, revenue receipts during April-November 2001 worked out to just 47.7 per cent of the annual target, against a collection which worked out to 54 per cent of the annual target in the previous fiscal. Worse, net tax revenues were only 40.8 per cent till November against a 50.1 per cent target achievement in the previous fiscal. Non-debt capital receipts (like dividends from public sector organisations) were, however, higher at 40.5 per cent of budget by November. This was better than the 28.1 per cent target achievement during the comparable period of previous fiscal.
The higher non-debt capital receipts bolstered the overall receipt position which were estimated to be 46.9 per cent of the budgeted figure by November 2001 against a 51.3 per cent achievement in the previous fiscal.
Send this article to Friends by