Kerala

Fiscal, revenue deficits up: CAG audit report

Revenue deficit of the State has increased from ₹13,796 crore in 2014-15 to ₹17,462 crore in 2018-19 and the fiscal deficit from ₹18,643 crore to ₹26,958 crore. The revenue expenditure has gone up from ₹71,746 crore in 2014-15 to ₹1,10,316 crore in 2018-19.

The ratio of fiscal deficit to GSDP improved from 3.6% in 2014-15 to 3.4% in 2018-19. But, the State has failed to achieve any of the targets fixed in its medium-term fiscal plan, according to the State Finance Audit Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ending March 31, 2019.

Revenue receipts have gone up by 60% in the past five years. The share of State’s own tax revenue, the main source of revenue, decreased from 61% in 2014-15 to 55% in 2018-19 indicating low growth of tax revenue. Receipts under State Lotteries was the main sources of non-tax revenue. Interest payment consumed 18% of the revenue receipts and is a concern for the State, says the report tabled in the Assembly on Monday.

Capital expenditure increased from ₹4,255 crore in 2014-15 to ₹7,431 crore in 2018-19, registering a growth of 75%. The share of expenditure on health and education sector in total expenditure was more. The average return on investment was 1.40% in the last five years while the government paid an average interest rate of 7.29% on its borrowings during the period.

Open market borrowings have a major share, of 54%, in total fiscal liabilities. The net debt available with State for development activities was ₹3,168 crore, 13% of the public debt receipts, during 2018-19.

The CAG audit found that 12.9% of the total Budget allocation in 2018-19 was left unutilised at the end of the financial year. Injudicious re-appropriations indicated that departmental officers had failed in assessing actual requirements of funds in heads of account under their control. Excess payment of pension and non-settlement of advances by drawing and disbursal officers were noticed in treasuries by the C&AG audit.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 7:01:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/fiscal-revenue-deficits-up-report/article33603833.ece

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