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Revenue expenditure highest in Kerala: Study

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`Growth in developmental and non-developmental expenditure recorded during the past 10 years does not indicate a desirable trend.'

Thiruvananthapuram , Oct. 28

A STUDY on `Emerging trends in revenue and expenditure in Kerala' has revealed that growth in revenue expenditure is abnormally high for Kerala, though more or less in agreement with the larger trend obtaining for southern States put together.

The study was carried out by Dr R.P. Nair of the Institute of Social Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram.

A comparative assessment of the percentage increase in total expenditure, development expenditure and non-development expenditure between 1991-92 and 2001-02 for southern States shows that Kerala has run up the highest percentage increase in total expenditure up to year 2000-01.

During 2001-02 (the latest year for which state-wise data are available), Tamil Nadu returned the lowest percentage increase (15.8 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh the highest (29 per cent per year) compared to the respective 1991-92 levels.

In terms of development expenditure incurred also, Kerala had the highest percentage increase for all years (22 per cent per year), again on a 1991-92 base. During 2001-02, the trend was slightly different when Karnataka posted the highest increase (25 per cent) followed by Andhra Pradesh (24 per cent).

All through this period, Tamil Nadu registered the lowest percentage increase in developmental expenditure incurred. But, the situation was reversed in the case of non-developmental expenditure, where the State recorded the highest percentage increase for the entire period from 1991-92 to 2001-02.

Karnataka brought up the rear in this category by clocking the lowest percentage growth, with Kerala ending up a close second. For most of the years under reference, Andhra Pradesh found itself at the second place (next to Tamil Nadu).

The share of developmental expenditure to total expenditure provides a reliable indicator with which the efficacy of the monies committed and expended by a State could be judged. In this respect, growth in developmental and non-developmental expenditure recorded during the past 10 years does not indicate a desirable trend.

The adverse ratio of developmental and non-developmental expenditure to total expenditure was observed in the case of all these States, including Kerala.

Available data shows that developmental expenditure during the last decade has gone down significantly while non-developmental expenditure registered an upward movement.

This was universally applicable for all States but the percentage decline was the maximum in the case of Tamil Nadu. Karnataka accounted for the minimum level of fall in developmental expenditure.

Increase in non-developmental expenditure was the minimum for Karnataka (6 per cent) and the maximum for Tamil Nadu (21 per cent) during the 10-year period under reference.

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