Fiscal deficit of Odisha well within limits: Chief Secy

Bhubaneswar: Chief  Secretary Aditya Padhi today said the fiscal deficit of Odisha is well within the limits.

“The fiscal deficit is well within the permissible limit of 3.5 percent of GSDP. The present level of fiscal deficit is around 2 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). The debt and GSDP ratio of the State is well below the permissible limit of 25 percent with present level at 14 percent. The tax and GSDP ratio is at 5.3 percent while the state’s own revenue and GSDP ratio is more than 7 percent,” Padhi told media persons after presiding over the annual review meeting of the Finance department at the State Secretariat here.

The major activities of the department like budget management, treasury management, loan & guarantee management, pension policy and pension disbursement, fiscal policy management, audit of local fund institutions, coordination with the Centre, RBI and Accountant General, coordination with banks, financial institutions and external donor agencies etc were reviewed in the meeting.

The Chief Secretary congratulated the department for reform measures already implemented and asked the officials to scale up such activities during the coming financial year.

The review revealed that Odisha has moved to online system of RBI named e-Kuber for all receipts and payments and has integrated it with IFMS. The facility for online submission of pension papers has also been provided in IFMS. The facility of online sanction of around 14 services including pension, provident fund etc have also been incorporated in IFMS platform. E-Transfer of PL accounts across treasuries has been made operational.

Principal Secretary, Finance, Tukihkant Pandey informed that the next step would be to leverage the system for online generation of cash book.

Padhi said the Finance department has performed well in the last fiscal year. The department has rolled out a set of reform measures for which Odisha has become a leading state in implementation of IFMS, PFMS and budget management. The department has also performed well in major fiscal indicators, he added.

Available data show that revenue from VAT & CST collected through Finance dept. has increased by 13.3 percent up to December 31 of the current fiscal year (2016-17) in comparison to the same period of the last fiscal excluding the revenue withheld by IOCL. The total collection from VAT & CST up to December, 2016 has been Rs 8759 crore.

The capital outlay and GSDP achievement till November, 2016 has been around 4 percent. The Finance department has implemented many institutional reforms. The integrated financial management system (IFMS) of Odisha has been nominated for award by a National Agency CSI-Nihilent. The prize would be received on January 27 at Coimbatore.

The budget speeches of 80 years from 1936-37 have been digitized and made available in the department website. The state project management unit (PMU) has been functionalized with a team of technical experts. Odisha is now one among nine leading states in the country with regard to roll out of Public Financial Management System (PFMS). The state has also received Best State Award-2016 for subscriber’s record maintenance in National Pension Scheme (NPS).