CHENNAI: As the Leader of Opposition during 2006-2011, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa went hammer and tongs about fiscal policies of the previous DMK regime and, time and again warned that Tamil Nadu was on its way to bankruptcy. And during her election campaign for the 2011 Assembly elections, she had promised that she would put the State economy back on track if her party assumed power.
True to her words, after assuming office, Jayalalithaa declared that putting the State economy back on track, bringing back the rule of law in the State and ending the power crisis were her immediate priorities.
Her swift measures really improved the State economy within a few months, of course with bitter pills like hike in power tariff, bus fares and milk prices which were unavoidable to save these public sector undertakings, which were on the brink of collapse. Jayalalithaa effected these hikes after listing out valid reasons through her televised addresses to people.
Within a month of her taking over the reins of the State, there were sufficient indications that the fiscal position of the State had started improving and the Revised Budget for 2011-12 was the proof.
For the first time, the budget size exceeded Rs 1 lakh crore and it was a surplus budget too. The budget for 2012-13 too marked further improvements in the fiscal position of the State since it is a revenue surplus of Rs 2,376 crore and very significantly, the fiscal deficit had come down.
The budget for 2010-11 presented by the previous DMK regime showed a revenue deficit of Rs 2,728 crore and the fiscal deficit stood at Rs 16,646 crore. However, the AIADMK government took steps to increase revenues and in 2011-12, the revenue deficit was completely eliminated and a revenue of Rs 536.54 crore was achieved.
The fiscal deficit too was limited to Rs 16,597 crore in 2011-12, which was less than the fiscal deficit of Rs 16,646 crore. Similarly, though the Centre had authorised a net borrowing of Rs 17,437 crore in 2011-12, the net borrowing had been curtailed to Rs 12,874 crore.
Thus, the fiscal situation, which was grave during the previous DMK regime, has now been consolidated by the government.
The percentage of Fiscal Deficit to Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is contained at 2.87 per cent as per specifications laid down by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
During the budget session of the State Assembly, the CM had said that the government, headed by her, has been practising the best fiscal management policies and as a result, Tamil Nadu has been moving on a high growth trajectory.