The Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh has tamed fiscal deficit below 3 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) as mandated under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.
In its Annual Budget 2018, tabled by UP Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal in legislature on Friday, the fiscal deficit is estimated at 2.96 per cent compared to 2.98 per cent (revised estimates) during the current fiscal 2017-18.
This is in sharp contrast to the Akhilesh Yadav regime (2012-17), when the state fiscal deficit had increased to a high of 5.32 per cent during 2015-16 after keeping low in the first two years of his rule.
However, during 2015-16 and 2016-17, the State had made additional provisions for the financial restructuring of power distribution companies (discoms) under the central scheme of Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). The government had issued bonds worth Rs 440 billion during the two financial years to cut their debt. This provisioning had contributed to higher fiscal deficits during 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Meanwhile, Adityanath, in his post Budget media interaction, stressed on “fiscal discipline” as the core element of UP Budget in providing adequate funds for the various sectors, yet conforming to fiscal prudence.
UP Annual Budget size has burgeoned to over Rs 4.28 trillion compared to Rs 3.84 trillion in 2017-18, an increase of 11.40 per cent. The government has provided liberal doses of funds for the agriculture, infrastructure, especially roads, social and energy sectors.
In energy sector, the government has allocated Rs 300 billion, an increase of 54 per cent compared to last year. Besides, the state Public Works Department (PWD) has been given a hike of 22 per cent in budgetary allocations at Rs 170 billion for roads. Likewise, the irrigation department has been allocated Rs 110 billion for upgrading development assets.
Commenting on the forthcoming UP Investors’ Summit on February 21-22, 2018, Adityanath said the mega event would position the state among the league of prosperous states. “From the level of enthusiasm that I have perceived among top industrialists for the Summit, UP is on course to emerging from the stigma of its erstwhile image of a Bimaru (backward) state”
Besides, the CM also announced plans of developing defense manufacturing cluster in Bundelkhand even as he mentioned the sector had the potential to attract private investment to the tune of over Rs 1 trillion.
UP Budget has estimated total receipts of over Rs 4.20 billion during 2018-19, including Rs 3.48 billion and Rs 722.80 billion by way of revenue and capital receipts respectively.
The Adityanath Government has estimated total expenditure at Rs 4.28 billion, comprising Rs 3.21 billion and Rs 1.06 billion in revenue expenditure and capital expenditure respectively.