Economy

Govt's share of spending on nutrition, public health reduces in the last four years

Even the outstanding liabilities of states have been growing at double digits

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Thursday 19 July 2018 | 11:00:57 AM

 

Outstanding liabilities of states have been growing at double digits. Credit: Jyotsna Singh The share of government spending on nutrition, public health, family welfare and relief on account of natural calamities has reduced significantly in the last four years. Moreover, spending on social security and welfare has remained stagnant. On the flip side, the share of spending on housing, urban development, water supply and sanitation, and welfare of SCs, STs and OBCs has increased during the period.

These findings have emerged from the State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2017-18 and 2018-19 prepared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) based on the analysis of budget documents of the state governments.  

Credit: Reserve Bank of India

While expenditure on urban development increased by 112 per cent from Rs 52,600 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 116,000 crore in 2018-19 (revised estimate), spending on relief on account of natural calamities reduced from Rs 32,700 crore to Rs 21,000 crore in the same period. Similarly, while spending on education, sports, art and culture increased by almost 45 per cent from Rs 360,000 crore to Rs 518,700 crore, spending on disaster relief reduced by 36 per cent from Rs 32,700 crore to Rs 21,500 crore.

North East sees a reduced spending on social sector

Analysis of state-wise social sector expenditure since 2000-01 suggests that most northeastern states have seen a significant dip in spending in the last two years—2016-17 and 2017-18. Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim—whose collective spending (about Rs 67,000 crore) is slightly more than Gujarat—have put a check on social sector spending.

Larger states such as Chhattisgarh and Punjab have also reduced social sector spending, with the latter almost slashing the budget by 50 per cent from Rs 52,900 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 26,700 crore in 2017-18.

Credit: Reserve Bank of India

The states that have seen only a marginal increase in social spending include Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. NITI Aayog’s First Delta Ranking of Aspirational Districts: Sector-specific Ranks also suggests a similar trend. The 20 worst-performing districts in the health segment are mostly from Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir. The situation is no different in education segment, where the bottom 20 districts are primarily from Bihar, Mizoram and Uttar Pradesh. When it comes to basic infrastructure, districts from Odisha, Telangana and Jharkhand fared worse than the rest.

States are now increasingly under debt

According to the RBI report, outstanding liabilities of states have been growing at double digits, except in 2014-15. “The issuance of UDAY bonds in 2015-16 and 2016-17, farm loan waivers and the implementation of pay commission awards led to higher debt GDP ratio at 24 per cent in 2017-18 (RE) which is expected to rise to 24.3 per cent in 2018-19 (BE),” the report says.

State-wise data reveal that the debt-GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) ratio increased in 2018-19 for 16 states. “The share of the states in the general government deficit has been rising since 2015-16 with important macroeconomic implications,” observes the report.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Related Story:

Social sector spending by UPA regime

Inclusive budget for inclusive growth

PMO orders huge cuts in social sector spending for 2015-16

IEP Resources:

Effective public investments to improve food security

Thirty Ninth Report on Demands for Grants of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for the year 2018-19

An assessment of India’s energy choices: financial performance and risk perception

National Health Accounts Estimates for India 2013-14

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.