An escalating revenue deficit coupled with an increasing debt liability mirrored the state of finances in the budget estimates for 2021-22 fiscal presented by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday in the assembly.
Khattar’s second budget was to a large extent blemished by the pandemic situation where the borrowings for 2021-22 have been estimated at 38.41% of the consolidated fund and 30.80% of these being projected for repayment of debt and interest.
With revenue receipts of about ₹76,135 crore falling abysmally short of the 2020-21 estimation of about ₹89,964 crore due to the pandemic and lockdowns, the revenue deficit for the next fiscal is estimated to be about ₹29,193 crore as compared to ₹20,856 crore in the current fiscal, a massive jump of ₹8,337 crore. As per the budget document, both the tax and non-tax revenue receipts have taken a hit. The chief minister expected to earn ₹60,580 crore from tax revenue and ₹29,383 from non-tax revenue when he presented his maiden budget last February. What he actually was able to garner was ₹52,479 from tax revenue and ₹23,655 crore from non-tax revenue, data showed.
“Even the projected tax revenue ( ₹60,162 crore) and non-tax revenue receipts ( ₹27,571 crore) for 2021-22 fiscal do not convey the confidence of the government as these are lower than the 2020-21 estimates,’’ said a financial expert.
In his over two-hour long address as the finance minister, Khattar took solace in the fact that his government has been able to successfully contain the debt liability by keeping it below 32.6 % to gross state domestic product (GSDP) ratio limit recommended by 15th Finance Commission for 2021-22. “The debt to gross state GSDP) ratio is at about 23% for 2020-21 revised estimates and the projected debt to GSDP ratio for the next fiscal is about 25% debt,’’ he told the assembly.
The chief minister also said that the government did not utilise borrowing space of around ₹8,585 crore during the current fiscal by adopting fiscally prudent measures.
“We managed to maintain our borrowings around the original provisions of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. As the central government has allowed that the unutilised borrowing space can be carried over, we have decided to utilise these proceeds as per requirement for the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) which will be anchored in a specially created reserve fund that will have the facility of rollover of allocations across years,’’ the CM said.
However, the budget allocation for the health and family welfare department in times of coronavirus pandemic left lot to be desired. A comparison of the estimates presented by Khattar and his predecessor Capt Abhimanyu showed that budget allocation for health and family welfare department 2018-19 was ₹3,126 crore in 2018-19 which was increased to ₹4,201 crore (about 34% more) by Khattar in 2020-21 estimates. However, the increase in 2021-21 estimates is a mere 9.7%. Additional chief secretary, finance, TVSN Prasad during a post-budget presentation briefing said that the comparison should be made between the 2020-21 revised estimates and the 2021-22 budget estimates. “What matters is the actual number and not the estimate. Therefore, the increase would be more than 14% if we compare the actual spending (about ₹4,000 crore) 2020-21 as against the 2021-22 estimates,’’ Prasad said.
The budget speech also added up a sum of ₹394 crore allocated to sports department to the health sector allocation to arrive at a swollen allocation of ₹7,731 crore for 2021-22 estimates for health and wellness. The ACS, finance, however, clarified that actual allocation for health, medical education, Ayush, ESIC and FDA was ₹7,337 crore.
The 15th finance commission had recently pointed out that health expenditure is only 4.8% of Haryana’s total revenue expenditure. “The pandemic apart, availability of health infrastructure and healthcare professionals in Haryana is hardly enough to meet its regular needs,” the commission said.
Under the Mukhyamantri Antyodya Parivar Utthan Abhiyan, a new scheme, poorest 1-lakh families will be identified initially. Education, skill development, wage employment, self-employment and job creation will be adopted and tailored to each family to ensure a minimum economic threshold of ₹1.8 lakh per annum.
A sum of ₹700 crore allocated for promoting technology-based learning in all government schools including provision of digital tablets, digital classrooms etc.
A policy for performance-indexing of the municipal bodies to create a positive atmosphere of healthy competition among these bodies on the anvil.
Plans to develop a global city near Manesar which will be the central business district of the National Capital Region. Panchkula and Hisar will be developed as smart and inclusive cities.
In a nutshell (GFX)
•Total outlay: ₹1,55,645 crore
(Higher by 13% over 2020-21 fiscal)
•Capital expenditure: Rs. 38,718 crore
•Revenue Expenditure: Rs. 1,16,927 crore
•Revenue deficit: 29,193 crore
•Debt liability: ₹2,29,976 crore