(Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan led government is staring at the revenue loss of around Rs 10,000 crores in 2020-21, with estimated of Rs 8,000 crores in the first quarter of the current financial year itself due to the lockdown imposed in the state amid coronavirus pandemic.

A senior official of the finance department said that the state had imposed strict lockdown measures to prevent the spread of contagion. Punjab had announced state wide curfew on March 24 as the country went into lockdown.

“In more than 30 days of the lockdown taxes on petroleum, registration of properties, entertainment or GST is almost zero. In April, we see the loss estimates rising and further more in subsequent months”, said Anurag Jain, additional chief secretary, finance.

The political debacle that led to fall of Kamal Nath government clearing the path for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to take charge of the state helms for the fourth time, also delayed the state budget.

The immediate fall out of this loss of revenue is the expenditure budget that has to be deferred to the next financial year. Fourth time CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had cancelled the budget session of the assembly and had moved an ordinance on the vote of account to fulfil the budget requirements.

The BJP government had earlier convened the Assembly session from March 24-27. Former chief minister Kamal Nath had initially convened the session from March 16 to April 13. While the House met on March 16, former Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati postponed it till March 26 over the growing pandemic. After the Supreme Court ordered a floor test, a special session was convened on March 20 but Nath resigned before the House met.

As per the Madhya Pradesh appropriation (vote on account) ordinance-2020 for the expenditure to be incurred in the first four months of the FY 2020-21 provision of Rs 1,66,748 crores has been made. Finance department is making the allocations as per requirement of the departments from April 1.

In budget 2019-20 total expenditure was estimated to be Rs 2,28,888 crores, a 20% increase over the revised estimate of 2018-19. In 2018-19, as per the revised figures, there was estimated decrease of Rs 8,447 crores (4.2%) of expenditure over the budgeted estimate.

Total receipts (excluding borrowings) for 2019-20 was estimated to be Rs 1,81,979 crores, an increase of 20% as compared to the revised estimate of 2018-19. Borrowings were estimated to be Rs 42,984 crores, an increase of 15.3% over the revised estimate of 2018-19.

Madhya Pradesh state is yet to make an official request for special financial assistance package from Centre considering the situation it has been repeatedly borrowing. Centre is also keeping strict eye on the situations across the country with special teams. A Central team has been sent to Indore to monitor the commercial capital of the state that has been worst affected with over 900 active coronavirus cases.

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Free Press Journal