CM Punjab Capt. Amrinder Singh
Punjab Fiscal Condition deteriorated-CM Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh
Punjab has linked in the prominent National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, (NIPFP) to free the Fund-crunched state out of economic crisis.
Loaded by a huge debt of Rs 2.08 lakh crore, a fat salary bill of over Rs 20,000 crore, power subsidy that has crossed Rs 11,500 crore this fiscal and a loan against food grain scam worth Rs 31,000 crore, is struggling to come out of the debt cycle.
Dr Rathin Roy Institute Director and his team has already met the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and had lengthy meetings with Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal,
Expenditure Commission Chairman KR Lakhanpal and officials of the department on January 24 and 25.
Sources told The AONE News that the meeting took a solid view of the salary module that was minting a hole in state exchequer.
The government has been guided not to establish another Pay Commission for few years till the state recovers from the situation.
Also, the meeting disapproves of upon the power subsidy, “We are already walking on the path of rationalising the subsidy.
As both salary and subsidy are political choices.
But somebody has to take them,”
said a representative of the government demonstrating extreme actions were the need of the hour to put the Punjab back on track.
NIPFP is an autonomous research institute under Government of India and helps Centre and states in proper economic management.
It also helps in course of policy making.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal told, “We have requested the institute to help us out of this trap.
Those people have the know-how and they have already met the Chief Minister.
We have shared them our realistic financial position.
They are going to provide us solutions towards well-organized fiscal planning so that we are able to get out of the debt trap.
Punjab paid Rs 17,273 crore towards debt servicing in 2016-17 fiscal,
and the debt servicing amount is all set to touch Rs 22,396 in the current fiscal.
While the state was also paying a huge sum towards repaying the debt,
another term loan of Rs 31,000 crore towards the alleged food scam has deteriorated the matters for the government
which was paying Rs 270 crore every month to settle the interest (at 11 per cent) on the term loan.
The estimated state’s power subsidy bill is at Rs 11,500 crore. While government was giving free power to farmers, it has also subsidised power to industry.
The amount is including a pending bill of Rs 3000 crore for the last fiscal that’s already beared to the government.