February 24, 2021 7:43:47 am
ATTRIBUTING REASONS to the ongoing pandemic situation, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who presented the 2021-22 interim budget on Tuesday, said the state’s overall outstanding debt may touch Rs 5.70 lakh crore by March 2022. The debt outstanding, as on March 31 this year, is estimated to be Rs 4,85,502.54 crore.
Panneerselvam’s budget speech said the debt-GSDP ratio, as on March 31 this year, would be 24.98 pr cent and it would be 26.69 per cent by March 31 next year.
The pandemic has led to a sharp decline in the revenue even as the expenditure levels had gone up to protect people’s welfare, he said, describing a situation that forced the government to resort to borrowings that resulted in a higher fiscal deficit. There was an additional expenditure of Rs 12,917 crore for health care and relief works alone.
Panneerselvam, who elaborated on how the pandemic led to a deterioration in state’s fiscal position, said in his speech that people continue to maintain their trust in the AIADMK government elected under the late J Jayalalithaa for good governance and better financial management.
The state will be facing an assembly polls by the end of April or May this year. Following the precedent of refraining from launching schemes in an interim budget, Panneerselvam did not make major announcements on Tuesday.
The government’s budget document says Rs 84,686 crore will be raised as net debt against the overall permissible limit of Rs 85,454 crore to finance the overall fiscal deficit during 2021-22. Panneerselvam also repeated his government’s demand to the Centre regarding merger of cesses and surcharges with the basic rate of tax to benefit states from their legitimate share of the revenue.
While the total revenue receipts in the budget was estimated at Rs 2.18 lakh crore for 2021-22, the overall revenue deficit for the same period was estimated to be Rs 41,417 crore. The capital expenditure is expected to increase by 14.41% to Rs 43,170.61 crore in 2021-22.
The main opposition DMK and Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the assembly during the presentation of the budget, calling the AIADMK government corrupt. Hoping that the AIADMK will be defeated in the upcoming polls, DMK leader Durai Murugan said they will launch an inquiry on corruption charges against AIADMK leaders and get them punished.
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