Kolkata, Feb 8 (IANS) The West Bengal government will end the financial year 2024-25 with an accumulated debt of over Rs 6.93 lakh crore, as indicated in the documents of the state budget for the fiscal which was presented by Minister of State for Finance Chandrima Bhattacharya on the floor of the Assembly on Thursday.
The total accumulated debt by March 31, 2025 has been pegged at Rs 6,93,231.66 crore, which is significantly higher than the revised estimates for 2023-24 at Rs 6,30,783.50.
According to teacher of economics P.K. Mukohpadhyay, such projections of huge accumulated debt by the fiscal end is inevitable.
“As I was going through the budget speech, I noted additional allocation under various dole schemes which was obviously done keeping in mind the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. At the same time, there has been no concrete proposal for generating higher tax revenue.
“Rather, there have been proposals on relaxation of taxes in certain spheres like taxes on vehicles, luxury tax, and stamp duty, among others. In the midst of this muddle, such a high accumulated debt figure by fiscal-end is inevitable,” he said.
Incidentally, at the end of the financial year 2010-11, which was the last financial year under the previous Left Front regime, the total accumulated debt was little over Rs 1.90 lakh crore.
Economists pointed out that even during the Left Front regime, the avenues for higher state tax revenue generation was limited. However, the previous regime used to balance that limited resources by limiting its revenue expenditure.
The two parallel factors, namely skyrocketing revenue expenditure and limited avenues of state tax revenue generation, are extremely difficult to manage at the same time, feel economists.