Staff paid, Telangana has little for its projects

The government is left with a meagre Rs 19,000 crore to allot to various sectors.

Hyderabad: The TS government has struggled to earn Rs 50,000 crore through tax and non-tax revenues, but paid Rs 31,000 crore as staff salaries and pensions.

The government is left with a meagre Rs 19,000 crore to allot to various sectors. The state is paying the price for giving a bigger salary hike than what the staff had sought in its bid to earn the image of an employee friendly government.

The 2015-16 Budget estimated the government’s revenue earnings at Rs 1 lakh crore. The finance department later revised this to Rs 85,000 crore. Ex-penditure has been estimated at Rs 90,000 crore.

CM largesse plays havoc with Budget
The 2015-16 Budget estimated tax revenues at Rs 46,495 crore and non-tax revenues at Rs 22,413 crore, totalling Rs 68,908 crore. In reality, the government has been earning about Rs 4,000 crore a month on average, totalling Rs 45,000 crore till February. It is expected to earn Rs 5,000 crore in March, and end the financial year with total revenue of Rs 50,000 crore.

On the other hand, the government is paying Rs 2,600 crore a month as salaries. This year, the salary bill touched Rs 31,200 crore. The pay bill got fatter because Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced a 43 per cent fitment in February 2015, applicable from June 2014. For RTC staff, he announced the fitment at 44 per cent.

The 10th PRC had recommended only 25 per cent fitment and the employees had never demanded arrears from June 2014, Mr Rao went overboard and announced 43 per cent hike and arrears from June 2014. The arrears alone amount to Rs 3,500 crore, which the government has not paid till date. In 2015-16, the state's share in Central taxes was estimated at Rs 9,749 crore and another Rs 12,400 crore was to be received in the form of the Centre's grant-in-aid. So far, the government has received only Rs 10,000 crore.

The government had borrowed Rs 14,000 crore through auction of bonds by the RBI and is eligible for another Rs 2,400 crore as per FRBM norms. Despite the government failing to meet Rs 1.15 lakh-crore Budget in 2015-16 due to poor earnings, it has devised plans to come out with an even bigger Budget of nearly Rs 1.40 lakh crore for 2016-17.

An official of finance department said, “Prior to the hike, the salary bill was Rs 22,000 crore per year, which has increased to Rs 31,000 crore. The government was spending Rs 600 crore per month on salaries earlier against Rs 2,600 crore now." The state has 3 lakh staff and 1.80 lakh pensioners.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story