With most departments sitting on the request to send proposals to be incorporated in the state budget for 2018-2019, the state government has asked them to submit their financial demands for development projects immediately.
The exercise to prepare annual budget assumes significance as chief minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to be keen to incorporate some populist schemes and launch development projects in the state budget ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
“The state finance department had sent detailed guidelines through letters dated September 27, 2017 and October 31, 2017 and the budgetary proposals were to be submitted by November 30. Most of the departments have not submitted their budget proposals. I have been asked to inform that the budget proposals are submitted immediately in accordance with the detailed guidelines,” said principal secretary, finance, Sanjiv Mittal in a letter dated December 1, 2017 sent to all the additional chief secretaries/principal secretaries and secretaries.
The state government faces major challenges as it prepares the annual budget for 2018-2019. It will have to explore ways to mobilise additional resources to fund new schemes, cut wasteful expenditure and drop ‘useless’ schemes.
As a major chunk of funds is being used to finance the crop loan waiver scheme (about Rs 36,000 crore)and the state government has not been able to float farmers’ relief bonds, it has taken loan of about Rs 16,580 crore from the public finance institutions to implement development projects. Besides NABARD, the state government is taking loan from HUDCO, Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Finance Corporation.
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Uttar Pradesh’s indebtedness is expected to reach Rs 414094.01 crore (28.6% of GSDP) on March 31, 2018 and more loans may push the state government into a debt trap. After assuming office, Yogi Adityanath government had brought out a white paper to let the people know how the SP and the BSP governments worked and his government inherited empty coffers from the previous regime.