Hyderabad: With just days to go for the completion of the first half of the financial year (April-September 2016-17), the TS government has failed to spend even 25 per cent of the annual Budget so far, raising doubts over the financial condition of the government.
The TS government created a record of sorts in the country by earmarking Plan expenditure that was more than the Non-Plan when it presented Rs 1.29 lakh-crore annual Budget in March, in deviation of the tradition of earmarking more funds for Non-Plan expenditure.
The government had earmarked Rs 72,195 crore under Plan and Rs 61,622 crore under Non-Plan expenditure. However, it could spend only Rs 16,744 crore under Plan and Rs 8,800 crore under Non-Plan expenditure. Of this, nearly 50 per cent was spent on just salaries and pensions for staff. With this, all the major schemes are short of funds with restrictions imposed on payments.
This would mean that the government will have to spend the balance 75 per cent funds in the remaining six months of this fiscal. Since this would be impractical, it is evident that a large portion of funds earmarked in the Budget would remain unspent defeating the purpose of budget allotments made to various sectors.
Oral instructions have been given to all the treasury offices in the state not to make any payments till further orders. Following this, the treasury offices in all the districts have stopped payments, except salaries. Even pending bills pertaining to Godavari Pushkaralu held in July last year have been stopped.
Development works like laying of roads, construction of buildings meant for schools, colleges, offices etc came to a halt as contractors are stopping works due to pending bills. The government failed to clear even the bills pertaining to Mission Kakatiya works taken up last year.
Contractors are running around Secretariat to get pending bills cleared, with the help of ministers. The third instalment of Rs 4,250 crore due to banks towards crop loan waiver scheme was not paid due to which the banks are refusing fresh loans to farmers. The government could hardly adjust Rs 1,000 crore recently.
Officials blame both the Centre and local conditions for paucity of funds.
“The Centre did not raise FRBM borrowing limit to 3.5 per cent so far, despite announcing it in April. This would have enabled us to mobilise an additional Rs 3,000 crore. Also, our plans to earn Rs 10,000 crore by selling lands in Hyderabad and RR districts were unsuccessful. We could earn less than Rs 500 crore,” said an official under condition of anonymity.
Besides, the government is facing the wrath of students for delay in releasing Rs 1900 crore dues towards scholarships and fee reimbursement even after issuing Budget release orders in April.
“Though tax collection has shown a steep increase of 27 per cent over the last year, it is not in tune with the expenditure being incurred on salaries, pensions and welfare schemes. The non-tax revenue collection is not so encouraging,” said a finance official....