A close perusal of the 4th budget speech consisting of 71 pages developed in 219 headings by Shri Manohar Lal, Chief Minister as finance minister (FM) in the state assembly of Haryana on February 23, 2023, gives a sense of satisfaction to the eyes of a needonomist. The provisions made in the budget 2023-24 are necessary but to make them sufficient for achieving the pragmatic goals of Amrit Kaal in Haryana calls for the honest implementation of the programmes therein.
The state budget size of Rs 1,83,950 crore in 2023-24 (an increase of 11.6 per cent of RE of 2022-23) includes revenue expenditure of Rs 1,26071 (68.5 per cent) crore and the capital expenditure of Rs 57879 crore (31.5 per cent) is in tune with the objective of inclusive growth with its challenges including converting careless into careful and useless into useful human resources required for the economy of Haryana. The target of fiscal deficit to Rs 33274.38 cr ( 2.96 % of GSDP), revenue deficit to Rs 16949.03 crore ( 1.51% of GSDP) and primary deficit to Rs 12024.48 crore (1.07% GSDP) in 2023- 24. The Effective Revenue Deficit is the difference between a Revenue Deficit and Grants for the Creation of Capital Assets, whereby Grants for the creation of capital assets are defined as the grants-in-aid given by the State Governments to constitutional authorities or bodies, autonomous bodies and other schemes implementing agencies for the creation of capital assets which are owned by the said entities and is projected to be Rs 10505.89 crore (0.94) per cent net of infrastructure projects Reserve Fund in 2023-24. This confirms the commitment under Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) Act. The rupee goes as repayment of debt 30.86 ( 31.79 ), economic services 24.13 ( 22.12), social services 30.51( 32.00) and general services 14.50 (14.09). The rupee comes from borrowings 35.96 (32.84) , state own tax revenue 42.00 (43.71) devolution from centre 11.00 ( 12.22) , non-tax revenue 7.15 ( 7.28 ) and other receipts 3.51 ( 3.95) out of 100 paise. The figures in the bracket are for comparison with a budget of 2022-23.
The CM as FM said that Haryana’s contribution of about 3.86 per cent in India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) goes far beyond its size or population. Haryana can proudly claim a robust GSDP growth rate of 7.1 per cent in 2022-23. The trends in the sectorial composition of Haryana GSDP show that the share of the Primary sector, Secondary sector and Tertiary sector in GSDP are likely to be 19.6 per cent, 29.7 per cent and 50.7 per cent respectively in 2022-23.
FM of Haryana adopted the principle outlined by the great philosopher Kautilya who wrote ‘Collect that which has not been collected, save that which has been collected and utilise wisely and equitably that which has been saved.’
For reducing fiscal deficit if not becoming revenue surplus, there is a strong case for winding up Haryana Tourism Corporation a public sector enterprise maintaining 44 Tourist Complexes is running at loss due to the free-rider problem by the government paraphernalia.
We must understand the pain of some if not many stakeholders caused by the budget proposals with of course, no new taxes. Healthy criticism should be appreciated as a challenge to be faced with honesty of purpose. We have to become a team with solutions for the betterment of the people. It is pertinent to note that we get pleasure when thinking, saying and doing are equal as Mahatma Gandhi used to say.
The state budget 2023-24 giving pleasure to the politicians in power takes the examination of their ego whereas the pain of the opposition leaders check their patience and enhance the efficiency and capacities of the nationalist to give a proper analysis.
The proposals for strengthening health with the e-Upchaar application in 56 facilities for the people are necessary but not sufficient. To make them sufficient, we need to implement the PPP model with the right perspectives.
To implement NEP, the efforts are to be strengthened for which we need the share from the education cess paid by us as income taxpayers but sadly underutilised only on IIMs and IITs.
The nursing education in the State has to be strengthened in Haryana including Kurukshetra to come up to the WHO norms.
The claim of zero tolerance for corruption which is inbuilt into the system can be fructified if monitoring of various health check-up tests is done with ethics by the stakeholders in the health sector. It is pertinent to mention that the provisions under RTI Act are being misused and abused by some has created a new class of criminals which calls for amendments to the Act for ensuring zero tolerance for corruption in Haryana.
Keeping in view the resource crunch in the economy of Haryana, the conspicuous consumption at micro and macro levels should have been stopped. There is a need for sharing the responsibility calling for the pricing policy of public utilities to be linked with inflation. Puncher tires of the economy may be re-tired with the provisions in this budget of 2023-24. We can be hopeful for things to take shape in the real sense by understanding and adopting the canons of public expenditure advocated by Dr B.R. Ambedkar that every Government should spend the resources garnered from the public not only according to rules, laws and regulations but should also see that ‘faithfulness, wisdom and Economy’ are adhered to in the acts of expenditure by the Govt. of Haryana.
We have to adopt a sustainable fiscal path for needed growth with infrastructure investments by keeping in mind the receipts that fall in the domain of needonomics required for atmanirbharta towards the dawn of Amrit Kaal in Haryana as committed by CM as FM of the State.
* Former Vice-Chancellor at Gurugram (Haryana), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and RGNIYD (GOI) known as Founder Needonomics School of Thought and superannuated Professor of Kurukshetra University.