Assam has maintained revenue surplus fiscal position for most of the period between 2007 and 2012, but the state should also take steps to phase out subsidies to curb non-plan revenue expenditure, according to a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report.

In its report on the ‘State Finance of the Government of Assam’ tabled in the Assembly, CAG said fiscal position of Assam viewed in terms of key fiscal parameters “indicated that except during 2009-10 the state had maintained revenue surplus during the last five years.”

“The fiscal deficit of the state was also reduced during the current year (2011-12) compared to the previous year and the state also managed to exhibit primary surplus after a gap of two years,” it said.

Revenue receipts grew by 19 per cent over the previous year, mainly on account of rise in tax and non-tax revenue, state’s share of Union taxes and duties and grants-in-aid from the Centre.

“The revenue receipts at Rs 27,455 crore is, higher by Rs 1,334 crore than the assessment made in Five Year Fiscal Plan (FYFP),” it said.

The report said that the overall revenue expenditure of Assam increased by 108.16 per cent from Rs 12,744 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 26,528 crore in 2011-12 at an annual average rate of 21.63 per cent. It increased from Rs 22,952 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 26,528 crore in 2011-12.

“The Non-Plan expenditure constituted a dominant share of nearly 76 per cent in the revenue expenditure and has increased by Rs 2,145 crore over the previous year,” the report said.

“The state should initiate action to restrict the components of non-plan revenue expenditure by phasing out implicit subsidies and resort to need based borrowings to cut down interest and principal payments.” it said.

(This article was published on April 5, 2013)
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