Bills worth Rs 1600 cr pending as Punjab’s fiscal woes worse


Prime VIP
Staff member
Chandigarh, February 6
Punjab is facing a difficult fiscal situation. The state expenditure has outpaced the state revenue. Sources say bills worth Rs 1,600 crore have been lying pending with the state treasury. Only the urgent payments are being made while other bills are being kept pending, they say.

A shortfall is likely in VAT collection this fiscal year. Till December-end, the VAT collection had touched a figure of Rs 8,500 crore. Compared to last year’s figure of the corresponding period, the increase in the VAT collection by December-end is around 13 per cent. In its budget estimates, the state government had projected a figure of Rs 11,800 crore (about 17.8 per cent increase over the last fiscal figures) as VAT collection by the end of current fiscal year against the last fiscal year’s figure of Rs 10,016.91 crore. However, the current trend in VAT collection hints at a shortfall of around Rs 500 crore by the end of this fiscal year.

Expecting good revenue receipts, the authorities concerned had cleared various proposals. However, the flow of revenue in the state treasury has not been on the expected lines. This has resulted in pendency of bills. Sources said the Chief Secretary had been briefed about the fiscal situation. He had told the officials concerned to clear the bills as regards supply of medicines to dispensaries and civil hospitals in the state.

There is likely to be an annual burden of Rs 2,000 crore on the exchequer due to various sops announced by the SAD-BJP government shortly before the Assembly poll. In October and November, the state government had implemented several pending recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission and also announced an instalment of DA.

Sources said the burden of DA, which was revised from 51 to 58 point, will be to tune of Rs 600-700 crore per annum. The remaining burden of around Rs 1,300 crore will be due to the revision of grades, amendments in pension eligibility norms and removal of anomalies in pay scales etc.