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Updated: February 26, 2014 03:31 IST

Finances hit a low, Kerala findsit hard to keep commitments

N. J. Nair
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Resource mobilisation efforts yet to yield results

With only one month to go in the current financial year, Finance Department officials are seemingly left scraping the bottom of the barrel to meet even routine expenses.

The balance in the government treasury on Monday was reported to be around Rs.1,500 crore and Rs.1,000 crore was being raised by floating bonds.

Finance Department sources told The Hindu here that on meeting salary and pension commitments worth around Rs.1,300 crore for February within the next few days, the financial position would again become precarious.

TA bills

Footing the bill of government contractors worth around Rs.1,500 crore had become virtually impossible. The commitment to pay travelling allowance bills of legislators could not be honoured due to the acute funds crunch.

Requests seeking assistance from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for various sections could not be met during the past few months, the sources said.

Lottery prizes

Complaints of delayed payment to government lottery prize winners had also been cited. The payments had been reported to be delayed on various grounds.

An immediate let up to the current crisis seems impossible.

Additional resource mobilisation efforts proposed by the government to avert the current crisis have not attained fruition so far, the sources said.

The restrictions on granting stay on revenue recovery orders as part of the revenue mopping up exercise have also not yielded any positive outcome.

The very compulsion to take such a decision at the risk of incurring public wrath in the run-up to a crucial election is being pointed out as an indicator to the severe strain on the State’s finances.

Flaws cited

The preferential treatment being given to certain select districts and parliamentary segments to gain political mileage in the elections is being pointed as a major flaw in managing the finances.

The unrestricted spending in certain segments for developing infrastructure is reported to have drawn flak within the government itself. This has eventually forced the Finance Department to apply brakes on spending in other areas.

Civil works hit

The delay in clearing the bills of the contractors has virtually slackened the execution of civil works.

Meeting substantial financial commitments by the end of the financial year will be quite a challenging task for the government, the sources said.

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