Govt to re-prioritise budgetary expenditure

Govt to re-prioritise budgetary expenditure

The State government has decided to re-prioritise its budgetary expenditure for the financial year 2015-16 in order to mobilise resources to finance new initiatives announced under the supplementary estimates.

The Mid Year Review of State Finance (between April and September) 2015-16 report tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Friday has stated that the additional expenditure, as mentioned in the two instalments of supplementary estimates, would have to be met from the savings in the budget 2015-16 estimates. But the report, prepared by the State Finance department, has not revealed the expenditure heads that will be re-prioritised for this purpose.

The government will be incurring about Rs 4,400 crore of additional expenditure because of the supplementary estimates.

Expenditure to the tune of Rs 94 lakh for purchasing cars for Governor Vajubhai Vala and Rs 5.6 crore for purchasing cars for judges of the Karnataka High Court were part of the second instalment of the supplementary estimates tabled in the Legislature on Thursday.

Other additional expenditures include the State’s share of Rs 12 crore for the Centre’s Smart City project, Rs 26 crore for Swachch Bharat, an additional amount of Rs 88.5 crore for subsidy of food grains under the Anna Bhagya scheme, Rs 76.86 crore for revised sharing pattern under the Central government’s National Food Security Mission, and Rs 55.75 crore for the establishment of a Commissionerate of Rural Water Supply, among others. Ironically, the report has claimed that only the most essential requirements have been included in the estimates.

Further, the report has said the government will be able to achieve its target on tax collection (State’s own tax resources) in the fiscal year.

The government has collected Rs 37,884 crore till September against the budget estimate of Rs 81,652 crore for the entire year, which is 47 per cent of the target.

However, the Fiscal Management Review Committee headed by Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee has advised Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take steps to reduce the liabilities as the Gross State Domestic Product to total liabilities ratio is close to the ceiling of 25 per cent mentioned in the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act.

At the same time, the government has allowed special purpose vehicles of the Water Resources Department and the Karnataka Police Housing Corporation to go in for off-budget borrowings to the tune of Rs 2,250 crore in the 2015-16 financial year, as per the report.

Bank funds
The Fiscal Management Review Committee (FMRC) has advised the chief minister to ensure that the administrative departments avoid parking of funds meant for budgetary programmes either in deposit accounts or bank accounts.

The FMRC’s advice comes in the wake of revelation that a large sum of funds in the Rural Development Panchayat Raj department are deposited in hundreds of bank accounts against the norms.

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