With thrust on social sector and infrastructure development Jharkhand Government tables annual budget worth Rs 1,16,418 crore for fiscal 2023-24

Ranchi: With the thrust on social sector and infrastructure development the Jharkhand Government on Friday tabled the annual budget worth Rs 1,16,418 crore for the fiscal year 2023-24. Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon tabled the budget in the assembly in which compared to the previous fiscal the budgetary allocation has been increased by 15 percent (Rs 15,417 crore). In the year 2022-23 the state government had tabled an annual budget worth Rs 1,01,001 crore. 

As far as sector-wise allocation is concerned the general sector has been allocated Rs 33,378.45 crore, social sector Rs 43,303.44 crore and economic sector Rs 39,736.11 crore. The education sector has been allocated the highest allocation of funds at 12.80 percent followed by Rural Development including Panchayati Raj 12.39 percent Health and Drinking Water 9.80 percent Welfare and Social Welfare 8.75 percent Police and Disaster Management 7.87 percent Pension 7.51 percent and Land Revenue Labour Tourism IT and others 7.46 percent etc. 

The fiscal Deficit for the year 2023-24 has been begged at Rs 11.674.57 crore which is 2.76 percent of the GSDP. The state government plans to earn Rs 30,860 crore from its own taxes while that from the nontax receipts have been pegged at Rs 17,259.44 crore. From central assistance, Rs 33,779.29 crore is expected from public borrowings 18,000 crore and from advance taxes and loan collection a sum of Rs 80.85 crore is expected. 

Percentage-wise the majority of the income is expected state’s share of central taxes at 29.02 percent followed by state own taxes at 26.51 percent borrowings 15.46 percent State own non-taxes 14.83 percent grants in aid 14.12 percent and recovery of loans and advances 0.06 percent. The Minister said that in the year 2019-20 the economic growth of the state was 1.1 percent and after going through the troubling phase of Corona pandemic in the year 2021-22 the state registered economic growth of 8.2 percent.

“In the year the country is expected to register a growth rate of 7 percent while Jharkhand is expected to grow at 7.8 percent,” he said. He said that the state government has accorded top priority to keeping the fiscal deficit under control and due to better financial management in the year 2021-22 it managed to keep the fiscal deficit at less than one percent due to which the Debt GDP Ratio has improved.

The Finance Minister said that as far as the state’s own revenue is concerned from tax and non-tax revenue in the year 2019-20 it was Rs 25,521.43 crore which in the year 2021-22 increased to Rs 31,320.36 crore and in the year 2022-23 it is expected to grow by 23.38 percent and reach Rs 38,612.84 crore. He pointed out that one of the key achievements of the coalition government of the state in the last three years is that planned expenditure has increased while establishment expenditure has been reduced. 

The Finance Minister said that in the last three years the planned expenditure is being increased and if looked at ration point of view then it would emerge that the ratio in 2019-20 was 47:53 which for the year 2022-23 is likely to remain in the ratio 43:57 while in 2023-24 it is proposed in the ratio 39:61 percent which shows that the state government by reducing establishment expenditure is giving focus more on the development of the state.

Highlighting the key schemes and projects he said that the budget size for the first time in the history of the state has been increased by 15 percent and the increase in allocation of funds in the social sector is an indication that schemes and projects for the poor will increase going forward. 

He further said that an increase in the planned expenditure will also lead to more job creations. Dr Oraon said that there is a simple rule in the economy that less the expenditure is made in the planned area the greater impact it has on the economy and job creation. He said that so far till the end of February the state government has spent 68.73 percent of the budgetary allocations of the previous fiscal which when compared to the same period of the corresponding fiscal was just 61 percent.

He said that the entire month of March is left and everyone knows that in the month of March the expenditure increases. The Minister said that contrary to the opinion the money which is not spent goes into the PL account and is ultimately unused/ surrendered but in reality keeping money in the PL account is part of financial management. He said that whatever money was put in the PL account in the last fiscal, the more has been withdrawn which is good as it shows cash flow in the system.

The Minister said that in Jharkhand the more focus previously has been on expenditure and not on resource mobilization which his department has now changed and pointed the example of Odisha were the revenue from mining was Rs 50,000 while in Jharkhand it was around Rs 10,000 crore similarly from transport the neighbouring state generated Rs 33,000 crore in income while in Jharkhand it was just Rs 9,000 crore.

The minister said that the officials of his department have held discussion with their counterparts in Odisha over resources mobilization and going forward one would see that the steps taken by the department has led to increase in revenue from mining transport revenue and transport etc. The Minister said that tourism has huge potential for revenue generation in Jharkhand as the state is blessed with natural and scenic spots and once the tourists start coming the revenue will boost up.

Over the farm loan waiver scheme, he said that under the schemes among more than 4.50 lakh farmers loan waiver of Rs 1727 crore has been provided. He said that in the first phase the government has targeted to help such farmers whose loan amount is Rs 50,000 as their number is highest in the state and once those are completed it will move towards the farmers who have loans around Rs 1 lakh while farmers having loans to the tune of Rs 2 lakh is very less in Jharkhand but they would be also extended the benefits.

Pointed over the loans and borrowings of the government being high he said loan is bad for the people but not for the state government if it has the capacity to repay them moreover he pointed that when compared to fiscal deficit it will emerge that the loans and borrowings have fallen in the state.

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