The Tamil Nadu government today said revenue deficit could be reduced by implementating the recommendations of the Staff Rationalisation Committee, set up to identify non-essential posts for reducing expenditure. The committee, headed by retired IAS official S Audiseshaiah, was set up last month, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam told the state assembly. “Once the recommendations are implemented, it will lead to reduction in revenue deficit and ways and means would open up for the state to revert to revenue surplus,” he added. The panel is mandated to identify non-essential posts in government departments to reduce expenditure and submit a report within six months.
Winding up the four-day discussion on the 2018-19 budget, which was presented on March 15, Panneerselvam, holding the finance portfolio, said the state had surplus revenue in 2011-12 and 2012-13. In 2013-14, slowdown in economy affected the state like the rest of the country and the tax revenue fell.
Factors like economic sluggishnes, inadequate tax revenue and cut in devolution of funds to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore by the Centre for Tamil Nadu in 2015-16 led to revenue deficit, he said citing the 14th Finance Commission report. Since expenditure increased to 13.71 per cent in 2017-18 owing to hike in salary for government staff, revenue was pegged at Rs 18,370 crore in 2017-18 as per revised estimates, he added. “Now that there is growth in the economy, it is estimated that tax revenue in 2018-19 will be about 14.11 per cent,” the Deputy Chief Minister said. On March 15, the state government presented a revenue deficit budget of Rs 17,490.58 crore.