The Punjab government plans to prepare a four-year action plan for monitoring the development expenditure of each department, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said. Presenting the state budget for 2019-20 in the Assembly, Badal said, "government is not only determined to incur development and productive expenditure but also plans effective monitoring of the same by defining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
"We are preparing a four-year strategic action plan 2019-23 (4 SAP) for each department. The plan will be operationalised in the current year and enable the government in evaluating the progress towards the attainment of pre-defined goals." Badal said that because of the persistent efforts of the present government, the state is on a fiscal recovery path.
"As is evident from Punjab's performance across various economic and financial indicators published by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the state has posted a primary surplus to the extent of 0.60 per cent of GSDP in 2017-18," he said. The capital expenditure of the state has been estimated at Rs 22,842 crore for 2019-20, said Badal.
The minister noted that the state government had undertaken several reform measures in the last two years to augment revenue. "But also to bring in fiscal discipline by rationalising its expenditure and by ensuring better debt and cash management ….The percentage of Outstanding Debt to Total Revenue Receipts has declined from 380.38 per cent in 2016-17 to 368.15 per cent in 2017-18 and is projected at 292.46 per cent in 2019-20," Badal said in his speech.
Badal pegged the total expenditure at Rs 1,58,493 crore for 2019-20 which was about 24 per cent higher than Rs 1,27,415 crore for 2018-19 (revised estimates). He said the salary, wages and pension bill was proposed at Rs 37,875 crore, rising by about 6 per cent over committed expenditure of 2018-19.
The total revenue expenditure on these committed liabilities will itself be 50.61 per cent and 48.22 per cent of Total Revenue Receipts of the state during 2018-19 (RE) and 2019-20 (BE), respectively, he informed the House. "On account of the drastic imposition of additional interest payment liabilities by the previous government on the state, the ratio of Interest Payment to Total Revenue Receipts ballooned from 24.26 per cent in 2016-17 to 28.93 per cent in 2017-18, which happens to be one of the highest amongst all states.
"Further, for 2018-19 (RE) and 2019-20 (BE), this ratio is expected to be 23.17 per cent and 22.51 per cent, respectively. This exorbitantly high-interest burden of Punjab is a continuous drag on the state's resources," said Badal. Giving details of new schemes rolled out in the budget, Badal proposed a new scheme 'Smart Village Campaign' with an outlay of Rs 2,600 crore for providing better facilities and strengthening infrastructure in rural areas.
Badal also proposed a 'Punjab Pendu Awas Yojna' with an outlay of Rs 20 crore for providing a roof to poor and houseless families in the state. A sum of Rs 250 crore has been proposed under 'Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana" (SSBY), a flagship State Health Insurance Programme, aimed to provide annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family to 42 lakh families in the state.
A provision of Rs 296 crore has been proposed for the development of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar as smart cities while Rs 300 crore for development and improvement in the quality of the environment of all 167 urban local bodies, said Badal. A sum of Rs 100 crore has been provided for a separate border and Kandi development board, he said.
Two new schemes- Samagraha Shiksha Abhiyan (Elementary) and Samagraha Shiksha Abhiyan (Secondary) have been proposed in the budget with an outlay of Rs 750 crore and Rs 323 crore, respectively in 2019-20, he said. A new scheme of Rs 20 crore to set up new dairy units for sustainable livestock and employment generation and potato seed village scheme with an outlay of Rs 2 crore has been proposed in the budget.
To create and enhance sports infrastructure, the budget proposed to set up an iconic sports complex at Jalandhar, said Badal adding that transit rules for wood were being amended to simply process of wood transportation. A sum of Rs 31.14 crore has been proposed for the construction of old age home buildings in Barnala and Mansa districts in next fiscal.
(With inputs from agencies.)