CHANDIGARH: The new BJP government will have a tough time to put the state’s fiscal situation in order, as it faces huge revenue deficit and rising debt, in the wake of populist decisions taken by the previous Congress government.
The projected revenue deficit of the state is Rs 5,013 crore for 2014-15, three times what it was in 2011-12.
Haryana remained a revenue surplus state for a period starting 2005-06, till 2007-08. It’s debt burden grew by over 200 per cent, to Rs 81,806-crore (Budget Estimates for 2014-15) since 2005-06.
The debt burden of the state stood at Rs 26,268- crore in 2005-06, which went up to Rs 39,332- crore in 2009-10. The debt burden of the state stood at Rs 46,443 crore in 2010-11, Rs 50,688 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 60,159 crore in 2012-13.
As per Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) Act 2005, the existing revenue deficit should have been zero.
Earlier, former Haryana Finance Minister H S Chattha had blamed non-disbursal of Central sales tax arrears, of more than Rs 7,000 crore from the Centre for growing deficit.
It will be a major challenge for the new government to fulfil its elections promises, given the financial position of the state.
The saffron party, in its Election Manifesto, had announced to raise old-age pension to Rs 2,000 a month, provide food grain at Rs 1 per kg to BPL families, Rs 6,000 stipend for class XII-pass unemployed youths and Rs 9,000 per month to unemployed graduates for 100 hours of part-time work, laptops for brilliant students of class X and class XII, round the clock power etc.
Before the Assembly elections, the Congress government had announced several decisions, including raising old age pension from Rs 1,000 per month to Rs 1,500, pay scales of Haryana government employees to be at par with that of Punjab government employees.
This has put an addition financial burden of Rs 3,000 crore on state exchequer, besides other social security schemes and loan wavier to farmers.