Led by the most populous Uttar Pradesh and the largest Rajasthan, the gross fiscal deficits of all the states skyrocketed to Rs 4,93,360 crore in fiscal 2016 from Rs 18,790 crore in FY1991, according to the latest RBI data. According to the second edition of RBI’s statistical publication titled ‘Handbook of Statistics on States 2016-17’, which was released today, the gap is projected to improve to Rs 4,49,520 crore as per the budget estimates of the states for fiscal 2017. Uttar Pradesh had a fiscal deficit of a paltry Rs 3,070 crore in FY91, which zoomed to Rs 64,320 crore in FY16 and but is projected to improve to Rs 49,960 crore in FY17. According to the 16-year data, Rajasthan, which had a gross fiscal deficit of Rs 540 crore in FY91, saw it soaring to Rs 67,350 crore in FY16 and is projected to decline to Rs 40,530 crore in FY17.
Maharashtra, one of the most urbanised and industrialised states, had a gap of Rs 1,020 crore in FY91 but the same jumped to Rs 37,950 crore in FY16 which is projected to improve to Rs 35,030 crore in FY17.
On the other hand, Gujarat, which had seen rapid industrialisation during the period of data analysis, had only Rs 1,800 crore in fiscal deficit in FY91 but the same had jumped to Rs 22,170 crore in FY16 and is projected to further deteriorate in FY17 to Rs 24,610 crore.
In fact from FY01, there was not a single year when the western state had shown improvements in its macro numbers. In FY01 its fiscal gap stood at Rs 7,990 crore which almost doubled to Rs 15,150 crore in FY10 and further to Rs 18,320 crore in FY15.
Another state projected to have higher deficit in FY17 is Andhra Pradesh at Rs 20,500 crore, which was Rs 17,000 crore in FY16 and a paltry Rs 970 crore in FY91. Similarly, Tamil Nadu, a state known for state freebies, is also projected to have a higher deficit at Rs 40,530 crore in FY17, up from Rs 32,320 crore a year ago and Rs 1,130 crore in FY91. Again, Karnataka, which had good finances in the past, is also estimated to post higher deficit in FY17 at Rs 25,660 crore, up from Rs 20,560 a year ago and Rs 560 crore in FY91.
Similar is the case with Kerala, which is also slated to have higher deficit at Rs 23,140 crore in FY17 from Rs 17,720 crore in FY16 and a healthy Rs 800 crore in FY91. Reflecting its improved finances on the back of rising investments following better law and order situation, Bihar is slated to improve its finances with fiscal deficit of Rs 16,010 crore in FY17 against Rs 28,510 crore in FY16. The state which had for long been the badland of the nation had Rs 15,90 crore deficit in FY91.
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West Bengal, despite having high debt levels, has been improving its finances with its fiscal deficit projected to improve to Rs 19,360 crore in FY17 from Rs 25,180 crore a year ago and a healthy Rs 1,630 crore in FY91.
The publication follows the ‘one-indicator-one table’ approach and covers all sub-national statistics on socio- demographics, state domestic product, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, banking and fiscal indicators across the states over a period ranging from 1950-51 to 2016-17.
It also offers data on state-wise availability of power, per capita availability of power, installed capacity of power, and power requirement, length of national highways, roads and state highways, and railheads.