Kerala's Fiscal Deficit Shrunk By 16% In A Year

Thiruvananthapuram, January 24: | Updated: Jan 25 2003, 05:30am hrs
Kerala's fiscal deficit has come down by nearly 16 per cent in a single year, Governer Sikander Bakht, told the State Assembly, heralding its Budget session. The financial year ended March 31, 2002 had seen the best ever achievement in taming fiscal and revenue deficits, he said.

One may recall that the State Budget 2002-2003 had left a revenue deficit of Rs 273.42 crore. Because of the repeated rollbacks in plan expenditure, the State has been left with a yawning overall gap of Rs 649.09 crore. The net public debt of the State in 2001-2002 was Rs 1924.37 crore.

The most reassuring part of the fiscal, according to Mr Bakht, was that the credibility of the State among FIs has improved over this period. This is evident from the response to the bonds floated by the State government and its agencies in the market, he pointed out.

"My government is in the process of repaying liabilities accumulated in the past and mercilessly passed on to it in May 2001," the Governer told the Assembly.

"The past 20 months have been about reconstruction, rebuilding and reforms," he said. Revenue buoyancy has been significantly up this year and has recorded appreciable gains.

The irregular practice of booking fictious expenditure by transfer to the Treasury Public (TP) Accounts of government departments has been stopped completely. Better fund flow systems to departments are in place.