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Improvement in state finance: CAG
Correspondent KOHIMA, MAR 31 (NPN)
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Published on 1 Apr. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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The fiscal position of Nagaland showed an improvement for the year 2008-09.
Briefing the media on the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for the year ended 31st March 2009, Government of Nagaland and Report of the CAG of India on State Finances for the year ended 31st March 2009, Government of Nagaland, Accountant General Nagaland, Biju Jacob, who gave a brief hand-out said that the fiscal position of the state viewed in terms of the key fiscal parameters indicated improvement during 2008-09.
The state maintained a revenue surplus of Rs.87.70 crore while the fiscal deficit decreased by Rs.56.65 crore and primary deficit also decreased by Rs.100.18 crore in 2008-2009.
It was mentioned in the hand-out that the state revenue expenditure stood at Rs.2889.54 crore, capital expenditure was Rs.853.09 crore while development expenditure was Rs 2246.10 crore for the year 2008-2009. The expenditure pattern revealed that there was an increasing pressure on revenue expenditure than on capital expenditure. It also revealed that the state had attached low fiscal priority towards developmental expenditure as the developmental expenditure/aggregate expenditure ratio was lower than the national average in 2088-09.
The state’s expenditure on salaries and wages increased by 9.28 % (from Rs.1143.25 crore in 2007-08 to Rs.1249.39 crore in 2008-09) against the Twelfth Finance Commission (TFC) norm of growth rate of 6 %.
According to recommendation of the TFC, the state should follow a recruitment and wages policy, in a manner such that the total salary bill relative to revenue expenditure net of interest payments and pensions does not exceed 35%. This norm was not followed in the state and the salary and wages expenditure stood at 53.34% during 2008-09.
It was stated in the hand out that though government had invested Rs.164.94 crore in statutory corporations, Rural Banks, Joint Stock companies and cooperatives, the average return of this investment was “Nil” while the government paid and average interest rate of 11.50 % on its borrowing during 2006-09.
Meanwhile, the Report was laid on the table of the 11th session of Nagaland Legislative Assembly on March 27. The report so placed in the legislature is referred to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in respect of Civil & Revenue activities and Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) in respect of commercial activities. The government have to submit suo moto Action Taken Notes (ATN) on all audit paragraphs and performance audit to the Committee duly vetted by Audit. The Committee select some of the paragraphs/performance audit for detailed examination after which a Report containing their (PAC/ COPU) observations and recommendations is presented to the Legislative Assembly. This serves as a mechanism for ensuring accountability of the government.

 
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