Meghalaya improves fiscal position

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Shillong, May 23 (UNI) The financial condition of Meghalaya has significantly improved as the state has been able to maintain revenue and primary surpluses and reduce fiscal deficit during 2005-06.

According to official reports, a steep increase in central transfers to state, comprising tax transfers and grants-in-aid, has provided a cushion in revenue account which helped the state government to increase revenue surplus and also to contain fiscal deficit well within three per cent of Gross State Domestic product(GSDP).

Besides, around 77 per cent of state's revenue receipts were being contributed by the central transfers comprising state's share in the union pool of taxes and duties and grants-in-aid from Central Government during 2006-07.

The grants-in-aid from the Centre increased from Rs 998 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 1,206 crore in the 2006-07. The increase was mainly under the state planned schemes of Rs 124 crore, non-planned grants of Rs 66 crore, Central Plan Schemes Rs eight crore and Special plan Schemes of Rs 22 crore.

The revenue expenditure increased by 65 per cent from Rs 1,157 crore in 2001-02 to Rs 1,907 crore in 2006-07. The non-plan revenue expenditure (NPRE) during the same period increased from Rs 884 crore to Rs 1,341 crore, showing an increase of 52 per cent indicating that the share of NPRE in total revenue expenditure declined only marginally from 76 per cent in 2001-02 to 70 per cent in 2006-07.

The non-planned expenditure comprised interest payments, pension, other general services, social services and economic services in the state.

The increasing fiscal liabilities accompanied by negligible rate of return on government investments and inadequate interest cost recovery of loans and advances might result in erosion of fiscal gains attained so far in medium to long run unless suitable measures were initiated to compress the non-planned revenue expenditure and mobilise additional resources both through tax and non-tax sources in the ensuing years, the report stated.

During 2006-07, expenditure of Rs 2,331.93 crore (gross) was incurred against the total grant and appropriation of Rs 2,835 crore resulting in a saving of Rs 503.07 crore. The overall saving was the result of the savings of Rs 568.48 crore in 54 grants and eight cases of appropriations offset by excess of Rs 65.41 crore in six grants and two cases of appropriations.

UNI PB LL BDP HS1525

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