In the backdrop of Maharashtra’s farm loan waiver scheme, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar admitted the state’s revenue expenditure for 2017-18 has overshot the spend target. On the other hand, the silver lining for the Devendra Fadnavis government has been the buoyancy in tax collections.
According to the Economic Survey Report (ESR) 2017-18 tabled in the state legislature on Thursday, Maharashtra, which has topped the GST revenue collections in India, will surpass the income targets. “The expected revenue receipts of the state are Rs 2,43,738 crore for 2017-18 as per budgeted estimates. Actual revenue receipts till the end of December 2017 were Rs 1,66,005 crore, which is 68.1 per cent of the budgeted target. As compared to last year, the revenues collected till December were 17.1 per cent higher,” the report stated.
“We will end up collecting much more than the targeted income,” Mungantiwar said. He, however, conceded that revenue expenditure had been growing at a faster clip. Provisional figures of Maharashtra’s accounts at the end of December, 2017, which were recently released by the office of the state’s Accountant General, had projected the revised revenue expenditure for 2017-18 to be above Rs 3 lakh crore. At the start of the year, the government had budgeted for a revenue expenditure of Rs 2.48 lakh crore.
Meanwhile, the ESR report states that the government had already incurred Rs 1.54 lakh crore in revenue expenditure till December, 2017. Revenue expenditure refers to expenditure on salaries, loan payments, pensions and other recurring expenditure. It does not include expenditure on development and new asset generation works.
While the government had projected a revenue deficit and a fiscal deficit of Rs 4,511 crore and Rs 38,789 crore at the beginning of the year, officials admitted that actual deficit had widened a lot. The government had to raise additional borrowings of Rs 20,000 crore to foot the farm loan waiver Bill. While the public debt stock was projected to be Rs 4,13,044 crore in the beginning, sources said the burden was much higher.