Guwahati, Apr 5 (PTI) Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said the state has spent over 70 per cent of the total budgetary provisions of Rs 99,453.08 crore during 2017-18 financial year.

Tabling the Expenditure (Provisional) Statement for 2017-18 in Assam Assembly, Sarma said various departments under the state government could spend Rs 70,105.50 crore out of the total budgeted amount of Rs 99,453.08 crore in FY’18.

“We have achieved a milestone by crossing the Rs 70,000 mark in expenditure of total Budget. It is a highly credible jump of 22.12 per cent over the previous fiscal,” he added in the statement in the House.

In 2016-17, the state spent Rs 57,406.81 crore, which was 69.15 per cent of the total budgeted amount of Rs 83,017.21 crore, Sarma said.

He informed that the Tarun Gogoi-government’s last financial year of 2015-16 saw an utilisation of 55.98 per cent by spending Rs 41,929.51 crore out of Rs 74,903.76 crore.

“For the next year, our target is to achieve 75 per cent utilisation of the total Budget and in the fourth year of our government, we hope to touch 80 per cent utilisation.

Beyond that, it is difficult to cross for any government,” the finance minister said.

Of the total spending last fiscal, around Rs 20,000 crore was from the state’s own revenue, while the rest came from the Centre, he said.

Sarma said that out of the expenditure, Rs 12,817 crore was in the Capital segment and Rs 57,288.30 crore in Revenue category.

The Pension & Public Grievances Department has topped the list with 103.37 per cent utilisation of funds in the last fiscal, followed by Education at 95.45 per cent, Governor Secretariat at 92.70 per cent, Public Health Engineering at 90.14 per cent and Handloom, Textile & Sericulture at 86.13 per cent.

The least fund utilisation was by Guwahati Development Department at 19.53 per cent, followed by Water Resources (Flood Control) at 19.81 per cent, Welfare of Plain Tribes & Backward Classes at 28.95 per cent, Tea Tribes at 29.30 per cent and Industries & Commerce at 31.14 per cent.

“During 2017-18, we received 13,542 FoC (Fixation of Ceiling) proposals, of which 13,161 were approved and it is over 97 per cent. Three hundred and eighty one proposals were rejected as these were received at the very fag end of the financial year,” Sarma said.

Addressing a press conference inside the Assembly complex after making the statement inside the House, he refuted allegations of not releasing money to the Departments not held by him.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.