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Even as the bad debt burden of public sector banks is making headlines, the public debt of Uttar Pradesh government is projected to exceed 2018 Annual Budget size by almost 3.5 per cent.
However, the composite public debt of UP is within the stipulated 30 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and estimated at 29.8 per cent for next fiscal, according to Annual Budget tabled in the state legislature on Friday by state finance minister Rajesh Agarwal. The GSDP of UP is projected at Rs 14.89 trillion in 2018-19.
During current fiscal (2017-18), the public debt (revised budgetary estimates) of Rs 4.06 trillion is about 5.67 per cent higher compared to Annual Budget of Rs 3.84 trillion. Thus, the quantum of public debt next fiscal corresponding to Budget size has trickled down in UP, indicating better financial and budgetary management on part of the incumbent Yogi Adityanath government. The state has also managed to tame fiscal deficit below the mandated 3 per cent at 2.96 per cent for 2018-19.
The public debt of UP, which stood at almost 40 per cent during 2008-09, has been witnessing a gradual slide over the successive financial years. It fell within 30 per cent for the first time in the last decade in 2013-14 during the previous regime of Akhilesh Yadav (2012-17), when it settled at 28.3 per cent of the GSDP.
However, the per capita debt on UP residents is expected to increase to almost Rs 20,152 in next fiscal compared to Rs 184.76 billion during 2017-18, if the state population is taken to be constant at 220 million.
This means an increase of Rs 16.76 billion or more than 9 per cent in per capita debt burden during 2018-19, indicating higher capital and revenue spending vis-à-vis exchequer earnings. In 2016-17, per capital debt burden on UP residents stood at Rs 16,973, when the quantum of public debt was Rs 3.73 trillion.
Likewise, in 2015-16, the per capita debt burden was Rs 14,724, when the composite public debt was Rs 3.23 trillion. The corresponding figures for 2014-15 were Rs 13,341 and Rs 2.66 trillion respectively.
In its White Paper issued last year to commemorate the completion of his first six months in office, the Adityanath government had blamed the previous regimes for the precarious fiscal position of UP.
He had informed that the accumulated losses of 65 state public sector undertakings (PSU) at the end of 2011-12 standing at Rs 293.80 billion increased significantly to Rs 914 billion in 2015-16. Additionally, the debt of UP PSUs had increased from Rs 359.52 billion in 2011-12 to Rs 759.50 billion in 2015-16, he had underlined.
UP Budget has estimated 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 pegged expenditure at Rs 4.28 billion, comprising Rs 3.21 billion and Rs 1.06 billion in revenue expenditure and Rs capital expenditure respectively.