CAG reports: Education and health spending dropped 11 per cent

The money spent by the Gujarat government on social services like education and health and family welfare dropped by nearly 11 per cent in 2015-16, stated the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest report. “Capital expenditure on the social services decreased by 10.70 per cent in absolute terms from Rs 7,186 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 6,417 crore in 2015-16,” stated the CAG in a report on “State Finances” that was tabled in the Assembly on Friday. Education that held 7.5 per cent share of the capital expenditure in social services in 2014-15 declined to 6.65 per cent the next year.

Similarly, the percentage share of expenditure on the healthcare sector fell from 30.93 per cent to 26.61 per cent during the same period. “In education, the capital expenditure decreased mainly due to less expenditure on projects related to elementary education. In health and family welfare, there was less expenditure on Primary and Community Health Centres,” observed the auditor in the report.

Other social services like water supply, sanitation, housing and urban development also saw the Gujarat government spending less. “In water supply, sanitation, housing and urban development, the capital expenditure decreased on account of lower expenditure on water supply and urban development compared to the previous year,” stated the CAG.

However, during the same period, the state government spent 5 per cent more on providing economic services like power, irrigation and agriculture. The capital expenditure on economic services increased from Rs 16,084 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 16,944 crore in 2015-16. During the 2015-16, the Gujarat government imposed a cut on subsidies given to power sector, farmers and the GSRTC. The government’s expenditure on subsidies during the year stood at Rs 9,045 crore. The subsidies provided to power sector — that accounted for 49 per cent of the total subsidies — declined to Rs 4,452 crore against Rs 5347 crore in 2014-15.

The subsidies for agriculture and allied activities dropped to Rs 711 crore compared to Rs 945 crore in 2014-15. Subsidy to the GSRTC on account of uneconomic routes, student concessions and others decreased to Rs 301 crore from Rs 714 crore in 2014-15.

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