The report captures an interesting trend of overspending in the energy sector. States might have gone on an overdrive to spend on energy to cover the additional expenditure under Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme. Of the 19 states covered in the study, 12 states participated in the UDAY scheme and took over 75 per cent of their discoms’ (electricity distribution companies) debt. The debt burden of these states swelled, as their combined debt ran to Rs 2.19 trillion. Rajasthan, for instance, took over its discoms’ debt equal to 8.8 per cent of its gross state domestic product. It was 5.4 per cent for Haryana, 4.8 per cent for Madhya Pradesh, 3.8 per cent for Punjab, and 3.5 per cent for Uttar Pradesh (UP). The study expects states to spend 16 per cent of their estimate for education in 2017-18. The expenditure would be concentrated on schemes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, constructing and maintaining of school buildings, and paying teachers. At 25 per cent of its BE, Delhi is expected to spend the most on education. Telangana ranks at the bottom on education spending at 9 per cent. Delhi is an outlier in education and health spending because it does not have to spend much on police, agriculture, rural development.
On health, states are expected to spend 4 per cent of their budgeted outlays in 2017-18. A major portion of this spending will be on paying salaries of doctors and constructing of hospitals. A sizeable part of expenditure will also be implemented on the National
Rural Health Mission. Delhi leads the pack with 13 per cent of its budget spending on health. Telangana is budgeted to spend the lowest at 3 per cent.
Punjab, UP, and Chhattisgarh are tipped to be the top spenders on agriculture, with a share of 14 per cent, 12 per cent, and 12 per cent, respectively, of their Budget outgo. Average spending by states is seen at 7 per cent of the outlay. Apart from flagship sectoral schemes such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, crop insurance schemes will also consume a significant portion of the budgeted expenditure.