Kerala’s cumulative debt crosses Rs 3.32 lakh crore

The debt to GSDP ratio and fiscal deficit to GSDP ratio saw an abnormal increase in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Published: 29th June 2022 06:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2022 04:30 PM   |  A+A-

Debt

Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The total debt liabilities of the state were Rs 3,32,291 crore as of March 2022, Minister for Welfare of SCs, STs and OBCs K Radhakrishnan informed the assembly on Tuesday. He was replying to a question on behalf of Finance Minister K N Balagopal.

The total debt liability increased more than two fold in 2015-16 when compared to 2010-11. Despite the flood and Covid, the debt grew by only 88.66% when compared to 2015-16. The debt to GSDP ratio and fiscal deficit to GSDP ratio saw an abnormal increase in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

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The economic slowdown due to Covid and negative growth of GSDP were the prime reasons. Also, the ceiling on open market borrowing for Kerala was raised from 3% to 5% of GSDP in 2020-21. There was a higher ceiling in the last fiscal too. The minister cited the lowering of the state’s share from the divisible pool of central taxes from 2.5% to 1.93% as another reason.

There was a drop in the state’s own tax revenue due to the pandemic. Other reasons were the additional expenses in health and social welfare sectors in the wake of Covid and the revision of salary and pension for government employees.The minister said the government’s targets were to bring down the fiscal deficit/GSDP ratio to 3.5% and Debt/GSDP ratio to 35.7% by 2024-25. Industries Minister P Rajeeve informed the assembly that the government will revise more laws and rules to make the state more investment friendly.



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