Delhi govt spends Rs 293cr on ads during Covid-19 at 10,665 cr estimated fiscal deficit for 2021-22

Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has spent Rs 293 crore on advertisements through television channels, newspapers and radio during the Covid-hit financial year 2020-21. This is Rs 93.2 crore more than what it spent in 2019-20, reveals an RTI. The fiscal deficit for 2021-22 is estimated to be Rs 10,665 crore as per the Budget estimates for the year 2021-22.

In 2020-21, fiscal deficit has increased by 146 per cent from the budget to the revised stage. In 2020-21, revenue deficit is estimated to be Rs 3,770 crore at the revised stage as compared to a target of revenue surplus of Rs 7,239 crore at the budget stage (a decrease of 152 per cent). The budget estimates a revenue surplus of Rs 1,271 crore in 2021-22.

Amid rising deficit in capital’s economy, heavy spending on advertisements may be considered the way forward towards a sluggish economy.

Delhi’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) witnessed around 3.92 per cent of contraction due to the ongoing Covid-19 infection during the year 2020-21. As per the revised estimates for 2020-21, the receipts other than borrowings are estimated to reduce by 23 per cent over the budget estimates. In 2020-21, total expenditure is estimated to decrease by 9 per cent from the budget to revised stage. In 2020-21, borrowings are estimated to increase by 261 per cent from the budget to revised stage.

The Delhi government released an amount of Rs 2405.59 crore on its popular scheme of providing subsidy on electricity during 2019-20. During the same period, Rs 467.50 crore was released in Delhi Jal Board account for meeting the expenditure on account of giving free water to consumers.

The expenditure Budget of Delhi government is mainly financed from its own tax revenue, which includes revenue collection from GST, VAT excise, stamp duty and motor vehicle tax (MVT). In addition, there is non-tax revenue and transfers from Government of India in the form of loan and grant under various items. Nearly 68 per cent of total tax revenue in 2019-20 came from the GST and VAT, 14 per cent from excise, 13 per cent from stamp duty and 5 per cent from MVT. The tertiary sector plays a pivotal role in the state economy, both in terms of employment generation and contribution to the state income.

As per the Budget estimates for 2021-22, Delhi government’s total expenditure in the financial year is targeted at Rs 69,000 crore. This is an annual increase of 16 per cent over the actual expenditure in 2019-20. The expenditure is proposed to be met through receipts of Rs 54,07 crore and borrowings of Rs 9,285 crore. The total receipts for 2021-22 other than borrowings are expected to register an annual increase of 6 per cent over 2019-20.

According to the Delhi Economic Survey 2020-21, the per capita GSDP of Delhi in 2020-21 at constant price was estimated to be Rs 2,83,614 which is 7 per cent lower than that in the financial year 2019-20. In 2020-21, agriculture, including mining, manufacturing and services sector, contributed to 3 per cent, 14 per cent and 83 per cent of the economy. However, these sectors contracted by 4.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively.

Nirmal Khandelwal, Chairman, Delhi and NCR Committee, PHDCCI, told IANS, “Delhi’s financial health is deteriorating from last two years since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Industry, trade, labour, theatre, production unit all are shut in the capital city more or less since the pandemic hit India which has badly impacted the financial condition of Delhi. The main earning source of the city is tourism, which has badly been affected by Covid-19. Additionally, the several production units have been shifted to the neighbouring states in Noida and Gurugram, so the major part of its revenue goes to that neighbouring states.”

He added that the Economic Survey of 2021-22 will throw light on these issues as no major relief have been given by Delhi government during the Covid era.

However, the Economic Survey of year 2021-22 is expected in March 2022 as Delhi government is likely to present its annual budget during the Assembly session starting from March 23.

The Delhi government’s annual budget for 2022-23 will have a roadmap for the city’s economic progress and creating job opportunities, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said last week.

He said a special attention will be given to bring the national capital’s economy back on track.

(Avinash Prabhakar can be reached at Avinash.p@ians.in)

20220226-014202

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