by Masood Hussain
JAMMU: The government does look very different from a household when it comes to managing the state on daily basis. Finance Ministry officials have to chase their earrings on daily basis and to see if there are possibilities of some saving on any expenditure. That is one thing that the government shares with a typical household.
But have you ever thought, how much the government of Jammu & Kashmir earns in a day or spends in a day? And, most importantly where it comes from and where it goes. Here is the basic arithmetic, based on the revised estimates of the financial year that concludes by March 2017. Once the fiscal is over, the “actual” figures will come up.
On the expenditure front, the J&K government had estimated the daily outgo at Rs 220.03 crore when the budget for current fiscal 2017-18 was presented in January 2017. Three quarters over, the daily expenditure, however, was at Rs 191.03 crore only.
Of the Rs 191.03 crore daily spend, Rs 48.09 crore went as salaries to the employees of the state government and an additional Rs 13.70 crore as pensions to those have already retired. That is Rs 61.79 crore is the daily requirement of the government towards its serving and former employees.
The second major daily expenditure is the developmental activities. The government anticipated spending Rs 62.46 crore on daily basis but eventually ended up spending only Rs 48.07 crore only. This somehow is linked to the absorption capacity or delayed processing of systemic requirements. An additional Rs 1.29 crore was spent on maintenance of the assets created, so far, apparently a paltry sum.
Third major expenditure that J&K government books on daily basis is the power, the crucial crisis for a water abundant and energy deficit state. It takes Rs 20.27 crore daily. Usually this amount goes in the purchase of power from state’s own resources (read State owned Power Development Corporation) and the Northern Grid. Interestingly, this amount exhibited no change in its budgeted estimation and the revised estimation. There are chances of it actually getting up, once the actual figures become available by the end of the financial year.
The fourth major expenditure that is booked by the state government is the payment of debts and the interest accumulated on them. These are two different payments, one serviced from the Revenue head and another from the capital expenditures. Together they make Rs 21.20 crore of which Rs 12.57 crore is interest payment and Rs 8.63 crore is re-payments of debts.
Security has emerged as a new head for the Rs more than 27 years. The daily expenditure on security related issue is Rs 3.29 crore. It involves a vast basket of expenditures that is handled by the police.
The balance Rs 35.12 crore is the “other” requirement of the daily and is a long list of expenditures from telephones to the car petrol. All the expenditures that does not fall in the fourth major expenditures goes under ‘other’ head.
The state actually earns and then spends. In the budget estimates in January 2017, it had anticipated its earnings at Rs 176.07 crore daily. But somehow that did not happen and, after three quarters, it is clear that earrings have actually been at Rs 151.52 crore only. The earnings are from twin sources, the state’s own earnings and the devolutions from the central government.
On daily basis, Jammu & Kashmir’s daily earnings from its own sources are Rs 42.53 crore. Of this Amount, Rs 27.77 crore comes as tax revenue and Rs 14.76 crore as non-tax revenue. The latter includes earnings from various services that government delivers and by sale of various things that government controls or produces.
The other major income is the devolutions from the central government. Though the estimation was that it would witness a dally income of Rs 119.62 crore, the actual income from centre was at Rs 108.98 only. Of this Rs 32.33 crore came as share from the central tax pool and Rs 76.65 crore was the aggregate grants that came.
Given the daily requirement and the earning – a mismatch of around Rs 40 crore, the government funds its requirements from debts. But it does not lift all loans. In the current fiscal, the actual borrowings have not exceeded Rs 20.01 crore daily even though the estimations were to lift Rs 27.85 crore. Part of the daily-unfunded surge of expenditure is routinely managed through way and means mechanism that the government is managing through its debt banker, the RBI, which JK Bank manages in the state. Part is also manage from small savings and central loans. There is a possibility of lifting more loans on daily basis if the requirements demand so and the position will be clearer once the final tally of the financial year is evaluated. This is despite the fact that the percentage of debt financing of the overall yearly spend is getting gradually down.
The actual figures of 2016-17, revealed in the budget estimates of 2018-19 suggest that the state government spent Rs 137.52 crore daily of which Rs 99.64 crore was the revenue expenditure and Rs 37.87 crore went to the capital expenditure and sponsoring the central sponsored schemes as state share on daily basis.