Capital expenditure a major casualty: CAG

With revenue expenditure constituting 90 per cent of the State’s total expenditure during the past four years, capital expenditure has become a major casualty, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said.

According to the CAG report on State finances for 2014-15 tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday, revenue expenditure was highest, 93.5 per cent, during 2014-15. Revenue receipt recorded a growth rate of 18 per cent, but the State’s own tax revenue grew only by 10 per cent. In revenue expenditure, share of non-Plan revenue expenditure went above 86 per cent during the past five years and over 60 per cent was incurred on salaries, wages, pensions and interest payments. Liability on interest payments has increased due to mounting liability in open market borrowings.

Fiscal liabilities of the State increased from Rs.1,24,081 crore in April 2014 to Rs.1, 41,947 crore by March 2015. The share of market loans in overall financial liabilities increased and it was more than 50 per cent during the period. The capital expenditure on development showed a declining trend since 2012-13.

During 2014-15, the expenditure in this score was Rs.26 crore less than the previous year. Though the debt receipts increased from Rs.14,461.18 crore in 2013-14 to Rs.18,509.17 crore in 2014-15, capital expenditure fell from Rs.4,294.33 crore to Rs.4,254.59 crore The additional borrowings were not utilised for capital purposes, the report says.

The State has failed to achieve the targets set in the Kerala Fiscal Responsibility (Amendment) Act, 2011. Non-achievement of the fiscal targets warrants serious government attention, the report says.

The estimated Plan outlay for 2014-15 was Rs.20,000 crore. This included schemes worth Rs.15,300 crore to be implemented through various departments and Rs.4,700 crore through local governments. Against the target of Rs.15,300 crore, the Plan utilisation was only Rs.14,407 crore, the report says. The report has recommended renewed efforts to enhance the State’s own tax revenue in the coming years as the revenue resources are insufficient to meet the primary revenue expenditure. It also calls for reviewing the reasons for the non-realisation of the revenue estimated in the budget.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 1:50:07 PM |

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