Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA: The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India presented in the Himachal Vidhan Sabha on Friday points out to an increase of 16.68 per cent in the revenue receipts during 2007-08.

The tax and non-tax receipts have increased from Rs.7,835 crore in 2006-07 to Rs.9,142 crore in 2007-08. But out of the total revenue it is still 41 per cent while 59 per cent comes from the Central tax transfers and grants-in-aid, said the report.

Fiscal position

The revenue and capital expenditures have also increased by 10.71 percent from Rs.8,780 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 9,720 crore in 2007-08. The non developmental expenditure mainly comprising interest payments accounted for 35.88 percent of the total expenditure. About 94 percent of the total non plan expenditure included the salaries, pensions and interest payments.

The fiscal liabilities of the State have consistently increased and stood at 61 percent of the GSDP in 2007-08 and are high enough to be compared with the Twelfth Finance Commission norm of 31 percent to be achieved by March 2009.

The report has pointed out a big decline in agricultural growth rate from 13.3 percent in 2003-04 to 3.9 percent in 2006-07. The area under kharif crops did not achieve the target level of cropped area and food grain production also fell short during the Tenth five year plan. The funds remained unutilised in the centrally sponsored scheme of Technology Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.

The report has also mentioned that goals set in the Bharat Nirman Programme are unlikely to be achieved as just 51 percent of villages out of total 17,449 villages have been connected to the roads so far and no long term plan has been formulated for providing the road connectivity.

It has revealed irregularities in Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation where in absence of a uniform system of accounting of apples, excess payment of market fee, and excess spoilage have resulted in a loss of Rs.2.45 crore. There are also losses of Rs.2.92 crore due to underutilisation of only one fruit processing plant at Parwanoo. The HPSEB failed to deduct service tax in conformity with provision of service tax rules and that resulted in an avoidable liability of Rs.15.89 crore.