Punjab’s revenue receipts increased from Rs 26,234 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 41,523 crore in 2015-16 at an annual average growth rate of 8.95 per cent, according to CAG report on State Finances for 2015-16. “The revenue receipts increased from Rs 26,234 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 41,523 crore in 2015-16…,” said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report which was tabled in the Punjab Assembly today.
The report pointed out that the revenue expenditure continued to constitute a dominant proportion — 85 to 95 per cent — of the total expenditure from 2011 to 2016. Total debt, excluding other liabilities, increased from Rs 64,161 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 1,03,195 crore in 2015-16. “The debt/GSDP ratio exhibited reverse trend, as it increased from 0.62 in 2011-12 to 1.37 in 2015-16. There was no improvement in the ratio of interest payments to revenue receipts during 2011-16, which is indicative of no significant improvement in debt sustainability,” it said.
The revenue deficit rose to Rs 8,550 crore from Rs 6,811 crore in the year 2011-12. The fiscal deficit increased from Rs 8,491 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 17,360 crore in 2015-16. The capital expenditure decreased by Rs 59 crore over the previous year. The capital expenditure incurred during 2015-16 was 62.98 per cent of the budget estimates “which indicates that asset creation was not given as much priority as intended in the budget estimates”.
The CAG report also highlighted that eleven projects scheduled for completion between 2008-09 and 2015-16 were “incomplete”. “The expenditure of Rs 446.75 crore incurred on these incomplete projects is yet to yield the intended benefits. “Also, nine major irrigation projects caused the State government a loss of Rs 294.76 crore during 2015-16,” it said.
The return on investment from cooperative banks and societies and statutory corporations, Joint Stock Companies and government companies was only between 0.01 and 0.05 per cent during 2011-16, while the average rate of interest paid by Punjab government on its borrowings ranged between 7.79 and 8.35 per cent during the same period, it said.
The report also touched upon raising of loans in excess of net borrowing limit fixed by the central government. The Union Finance Ministry, Department of Expenditure, fixed (April 2015) the net borrowing ceiling of the state government for the financial year 2015-16 as Rs 11,914 crore and instructed the state government to ensure that its incremental borrowings from all sources remain within this ceiling.
“As per statement 6 of the Finance Accounts viz. statement of borrowings and other liabilities, incremental borrowings of the state government were Rs 17,075 crore during the financial year 2015-16 which exceeded the net borrowing ceiling by Rs 5,161 crore (43 per cent).
“Government of India also directed that in case of the outstanding balances in Cash Credit Limits (CCL) accounts for food procurement operations by the state at the end of the financial year exceeded the opening balances at the beginning of the year, the net increase would be considered against the borrowing space of the state for the year 2015-16,” the report stated.
It further said the Food and Supply Department, Punjab government, was sanctioned CCL of Rs 42,851.70 crore for the first time during 2015-16 under food credit arrangement.
“Against this CCL, the state government availed CCL of Rs 37,807 crore. Out of this, Rs 9,014 crore remained unadjusted, which was required to be considered against borrowing space of the state, but was not considered. This resulted into understatement of debts to the extent of Rs 9,014 crore,” the report said.
It also pointed out that during 2015-16, there was an increase of Rs 5,698 crore in the advancement of loans and advances, which was mainly due to loan of Rs 5,597 crore to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited for repayment of its loans related to the implementation of the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna.
“Another transaction of implementation of Rs 4,262.65 crore carried out on March 31,2016 as a cashless transaction through the Reserve Bank of India, for repayment of loans of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited by the state government under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna was not accounted for by the state government.
“As such, loans of the state government were understated to the extent of Rs 4,262.65 crore,” it said. The report also noted that the ratio of financial assets to liabilities rose to 36.49 per cent in 2015-16 from 34.21 per cent in the previous year.
Excess expenditure of Rs 5,727.08 crore incurred during 2011-16 required regularisation, the report said, adding that expenses worth Rs 319.17 crore were incurred without making any budget provision.
The report also pointed out that as many as 976 Abstract Contingent Bills, which are drawn to meet expenses of emergent nature, for Rs 2,044.97 crore were awaiting adjustment as on March 31, 2016.
The report also stated that the total expenditure of the state government increased by 69.73 per cent from Rs 34,820 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 59,101 crore in 2015-16.