BHOPAL : The state budget for 2016-17 presented by Finance Minister Jayant Mallaiya has set alarm bells ringing. Mallaiya said that permission from the Central government has been sought to go to highest limit of 3.5 per cent of taking loan this year. After state government reaching highest limit of taking loan, it would have no options left. It is certain that to curtail expenses, developmental works would be compromised by the government and its impact would come on government’s performance.
The same condition had also developed during the tenure of former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh which had led to works related to roads and electricity come to a halt.
Year 2016-17, prior to the election year, would be important financial year for the state government. If state government does not improve its condition this year then it would have tough times ahead. Although Mallaiya claimed in the budget that loan would have less interest but the rate of interest on taking loan from the market, is an important factor.
When BJP government came to power in the state, interest on loan was paid in initial years but the condition is not improving since last three years. Mallaiya in the budget admitted that there has been curtailment in Central schemes. Central government has curtailed a sum of around Rs 17000 crore of various departments in the annual plan, which cannot be taken as a good sign to the state government. The figures in the budget show that government is not in good financial condition though the government, in order to show its capability, presented a budget of Rs 1.58 lakh crore. Revenue receipts have been also shown resorting to trickery of figures but it is sure that Finance Department would stop the departments on spending the budget.
Finance Department is not allowing departments to spend money this year too. It has stopped payments of Rs 5 crore and it has also given verbal instructions to Treasuries not to make payments in March.
In this scenario, it is time for the government to pay attention. Austerity is the way to overcome such financial crises but so far its intentions are not visible.
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