Agartala, Oct. 3: A five-member team of the 14th Finance Commission headed by former RBI governor Y.V. Reddy will visit Tripura next month.
Having received Rs 10,000 crore less than expected from the 13th Finance Commission, the state government is worried over the finance commission’s recommendations. The government is preparing to press for higher sanction of non-plan funds to make up for the deficit. But the government’s failure to spend non-plan funds in the 2012-2013 financial year is worrying.
According to data provided in the finance minister’s report on the last quarter of the 2012-2013 financial year, the state government failed to spend Rs 1,575.62 crore or 14.16 per cent of the total non-plan funds allocated in the state budget of 2012-2013.
In the plan sector, the state failed to spend Rs 152.24 crore or 11.8 per cent of the expenses earmarked in the budget.
“The finance commission is concerned with the non-plan funds allocation from the Centre to states and the failure of the government to spend the amount will be taken into account by the commission while considering devolution of non-plan funds. Actually the state has failed to spend 19.025 per cent of the total non-plan funds,” said B.K. Sur, joint secretary in the finance department.
He hinted that less expenditure on employees’ DA and upward revision of salaries had led to non-spending of funds. To make matters worse, according to the finance minister’s report in the Assembly, the government has spent only 13.01 per cent of budgeted funds in the first quarter of the current financial year. “This may also go against the state’s demand for additional funds,” said Sur.
The state government had appointed S.K. Vohra, an expert in finance commission affairs, for suggesting ways to approach the commission with pleas for funds but his suggestions have not yet been implemented.
Sur said the five-member panel headed by Reddy comprises former Union finance secretary Sushma Nath, former director of National Institute of Public Finance M. Gobinda Rao, Planning Commission member Abhijeet Sen and former acting chairman of National Statistical Commission Sudipto Mundle.
will arrive here in November and assess the state government’s requirement of non-plan funds. “We have already furnished our replies to the finance commission’s questionnaire and will submit a detailed memorandum when the full team will arrive here,” said Sur.