Mumbai: The Mahrashtra government on Friday came out with a white paper on the state’s finances but could not report any major instances of financial indiscipline during the 15-year Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) rule.

The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) while in opposition had accused Congress-NCP government of destroying the state’s finances. The White Paper was promised by the state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in the assembly during the winter session. It was reiterated in the governor’s inaugural address at the start of the budget session.

However, the report says the previous government has not been able to limit its non-plan expenditure, forcing it to slash its plan expenditure in the range of 14% to 21%. Due to this, the process of budget-making has lost sanctity, the White Paper states.

Non-plan expenditure includes interest payment, subsidies, salaries, etc. whereas money under plan expenditure is spent on projects and programmes planned in budgets.

The White Paper says that in the last 10 years, loans worth Rs18,304 crore, which amounts 9.5% of total loans, were used for revenue expenditure. This shows that the state was unable to maintain the revenue balance, which is a worrying factor. As per the revised estimates of 2014-15, the revenue deficit was Rs13,883 crore, reported the Press Trust of India quoting the White Paper.

While Maharashtra’s revenue increased annually in the last decade, its gross state domestic product was between 9.9% and 10.7%, which is satisfactory when compared with other developed states, the PTI report said. The paper states that the percentage of capital expenditure to GSDP is just 1.7%; for other major states, it is around 3%.

The White Paper also expressed concern over the increasing pension burden on state’s exchequer, which has gone up by 18% annually. As a solution, the government has suggested a separate fund for pension disbursal.

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