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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Staring at a big gap between budgeted revenue receipts for 2019-20 and the actual realisation till December end, the alarmed State Finance department has put its foot down on the expenditure - both revenue and capital.

The State Budget for 2020-21 will be tabled by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari in State Assembly on next Tuesday.

Now, consider this. In the budget 2019-20, the total revenue receipts have been budgeted at Rs 1.153 lakh crore. But the gross receipts realised till the end of third quarter(December end) stood at mere Rs 74,230 crore.

Not only a big shortfall in State's own tax revenues, but a dip has also been observed in the capital receipts.

While the gross tax revenues realised by the State till December end have been estimated at Rs 44,791 crore. The tax revenues for the fiscal year 2019-20 have been budgeted at Rs 84,707 crore. Only around a half of the tax revenues could be realised till the end of third quarter of the fiscal year

The story of non-tax revenues also looks bearish. Against the budgeted amount of Rs 12,500 crore, the realisation of non-tax revenue till the end of third quarter (December end) stood at Rs 9,541 crore.

Mining revenues, which alone accounts for 72 per  cent of the non-tax revenue, exhibit a big gap. The mining revenue realised till December end stood at Rs 7,000 crore against the budgeted amount of Rs 9,000 crore.

There is no good news for the State in capital receipts. Against the budgeted gross market borrowings to the tune of Rs 16, 434 crore, Odisha could raise a mere Rs 4000 crore from the market till November end.

The thumb downs in revenue and capital receipts have, therefore, alarmed the State Finance Department. With revenue deficit staring at the face, the State Finance Department has sought for a drastic cut in  expenditure to eschew the possibility of recording revenue deficit and overshooting of the fiscal deficit mandated under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) Act.

In contrast to the budgeted revenue expenditure worth Rs 1.08lakh crore in 2019-20, the revenue expenditure has been at mere Rs 71,696 crore at the end of third quarter of the fiscal 2019-20.  Generally, the last quarter see a curtailment in expenditure, when State Finance Department has already issued a directive to all departments not to rush for expenditure in the last quarter.

The lack of buoyancy in State's total receipts has taken a big toll on capital expenditure. A big drop is witnessed in capital expenditure in 2019-20. Against the budgeted amount of Rs 30,262 crore for the year 2019-20, expenditure under capital account till December end stood at mere Rs 11, 535 crore.

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