Similar trend for five years: State govt spends only 46% budget fund by Jan – The Indian Express

The Maharashtra government has spent barely 46.41 per cent of the total budgeted amount for financial year 2022-23, according to data from the state Finance department.
With only two months to go for the end of the ongoing fiscal, all state departments are in a rush to release the pending amount and clear bills to avoid cut in grants in the state budget.
The budget will be presented on March 9 by state Finance minister Devendra Fadnavis.
As per the data, 19 departments have spent less than 50% of the budgeted amount, with Tourism & Culture, Housing, Industry, Energy and Labour, Environment and Planning departments spending less than 20% of the amount.
However, some departments — School Education, Law and Judiciary, Co-operation and Technical Education, among others — have spent over 70% of the budgeted amount this fiscal.
According to a senior official from the Finance department, this trend has been observed in earlier fiscals as well.
“The departments may be releasing funds in the last few months, but the planning of expenditure under various heads is already on paper. The plan of spending money is prepared in time and not at the last moment. Only the release of money happens by the end of the fiscal year to ensure funds are not lacking in case of unforeseen circumstances,” he said.
Data from the last five fiscals show an identical trend. In 2016-17, the expenditure by the end of January was 52.2 per cent of the total budgeted amount; in 2017-18, it was 49.68 per cent; in 2018-19, 49.86 per cent was spent while in 2019-20, the amount spent was 52 per cent. In 2020-21 and 2022-23, the amount spent was 44.77 per cent and 48.47 per cent, respectively.
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on state finances, tabled in previous Assembly sessions, have highlighted the rush in expenditure during the last quarter by various state departments. Based on the expenditure of the department concerned in a particular fiscal, the allotment of money in the next financial year is decided.
“Lack of spending means… the department gets less money in the budget. Therefore, each department carefully plans the expenditure schedule and releases the money in the last quarter,” said the officer.
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Alok DeshpandeAlok is a Special Correspondent with the The Indian Express' Mumbai bu… read more


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