Highly placed sources at the Secretariat said the free distribution of laptop, bicycle to school children, cattle to farmers has been affected over the past two years due to a delay in sanctioning funds. The financial crunch has also hit green initiatives such as afforestation and construction of green houses, sources explained.
While the Total Revenue Receipts (TRR) of the State has been projected at around Rs 1.55 lakh crore in the revised estimates 2017-2018, the revenue expenditure is estimated to be around Rs 1.74 lakh crore, leading to a revenue deficit of more than Rs 18,000 crore.
“Taking the pay revision into account, expenditure on salaries and allowances are estimated to be Rs 52,171.18 crore, while expenditure on pension and other retirement benefits are estimated to be Rs 25,362.20 crore in the budget estimates of 2018-2019. Along with pay commission recommendations, the increase in DA and operational costs, the debts will reach an all-time high by next March,” a senior government official said.
“The net outstanding debt by March 31, 2019, will stand at over Rs 3.55 lakh crore. The debt for next fiscal year will cross Rs 4 lakh crore as the State Transport Corporations and local bodies are bleeding due to increases in fuel prices and operation costs,” the official said, adding that the maternity assistance scheme was also costing an additional Rs 1,000 crore as the State had recently enhanced the assistance from Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000.
When contacted, senior minister D Jayakumar told DTNext, “Despite budget deficits, we are continuing all the schemes. Pay commissions, reforms in administrations and DA increase alone has incurred an additional expense of Rs 16,000 crore in the current year. To handle the fund shortage, we will explore new avenues through which extra income can be generated.”