Home Business Mamata presents full `vote budget’ skips `interim’ flavour’, Amit a saviour

Mamata presents full `vote budget’ skips `interim’ flavour’, Amit a saviour

by Kolkata Today

Nirmalya Mukherjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today presented the state’s `vote on account’/interim budget for 2021-22 in the State Assembly. As the state Finance Minister Amit Mitra is unwell, the Chief Minister presented the vote on account/ interim budget for 2021-22. Vote-on-accounts are placed to seek the permission from the legislature to carry on business for the last few months of a government’s tenure. Mamata Banerjee governmen’ts term and the tenure of the present state Assembly ends on 31 May 2021. It is expected that elections to the state assembly will be held in a couple of months (April/May) and might end by the first week of May. Banerjee has already announced that elections will be announced by next week.

However, Banerjee’s `vote on account’ looked like a `full budget’ with allocation size increased by almost 38 per cent and a bag full of proposals and promises on infrastructuredevelopment of roads, ports, airports and welfare spendingsalongside issues touching Bengal’s emotion with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. She presented a `vote on account/interim budget’ of around Rs 3 lakh crore. In 2020-21 the size of state budget was around Rs 2.18 lakh crore. State BJP leaders called the ‘vote on account/interim budget a `hoax’ while some experts viewed the presentation of proposals and announcements as `meaningless’ as it is for only 3 months. Some, however viewed it as `growth-oriented’ and ‘forward looking’ following in the steps of the `taboo breaking’ Union budget of the Narendra Modi government.

In Feburary 2019 Piyush Goel, minister of state of finance and commerce presented an almost similar `vote on account’ / interim budget in substitute for Arun Jaitley, then union finance minister as he was unwell. Later, Nirmala Sitaraman presented the full-budget for the year in July 2019.

Later, Mitra highlighted the achievements of the state transparently and cogently on the virtual with Mamata as a spectator. Although Mamata presented the interim budget it seemed she was ill conversant with logistics of the interim budget.

Mitra sais the debt to GDP ratio of Bengal currently standsaround 34.81 as against 40.1 in 2010-11. Revenue collections have also by 3.57 times and fiscal deficit is down to 2.93 % in comparision to 4% of 2010-11. The Centre’s fiscal deficit is projected to cross 9 per cent. The state has also increased in plan expenditure by almost 10 times from Rs 19057 crore to Rs 1.14 lakh crore in a gap of almost 10 years. West Bengal’s capital expenditure has gone by 14 times from Rs 2226 crore to Rs 31,180 crore. The state achieved its biggest jump by 25 times in the agriculture sector as allocation was increased from Rs 280 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 7125 crore in 2021-22. Infra, social sector and minority affairs spendings also went up by 5.58, 9.15 and 9.8 times. Health expenditure was also increased by 13.8 times.

This news article is prepared or accomplished by Nirmalya Mukherjee in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of kolkatatoday.com


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