Himachal government’s white paper on fiscal situation a bundle of lies: Jai Ram
Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said that the former BJP government also inherited a loan of more than ₹47,700 crore
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main Opposition in the Himachal Pradesh assembly, called the white paper released by Congress on the state’s fiscal situation of the state as a fake document. Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur alleged that just like the guarantees given by the Congress, the white paper is a bundle of lies.
He said that the former BJP government also inherited a loan of more than ₹47,700 crore. At the time Congress came to power in 2012, the debt was ₹28,747 crore, he said. He added that the BJP government, formed in 2017, paid 18 % of the dues to the employees for July 2016, and January and July 2017.
“The BJP government also paid 21% of the interim relief amount announced for the employees by the former Congress government,” Jai Ram said during a press conference in Shimla.
He said that from 2012 to 2017, the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act was not followed in the stat and approximately ₹9,000 crore worth of liabilities of the employees were outstanding. He alleged that the first loan taking initiative started during Congress rule between 1993 and 1998. The then Congress government took a loan of ₹1,000 crore from the open market at high interest rates, he said.
On the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation mentioned in the white paper, he said that the GST Act came into force in 2017. Under this, all the states were to get compensation only till June 2022. He said that under the recommendations of the 15th finance commission, the highest amount of revenue deficit grant in the country has been approved to Himachal.
Jai Ram said that the former BJP government paid ₹38,276 crore of the loan and interest taken during the Congress government. He said that help will be provided from the Centre after the completion of land acquisition process for Mandi and Kangra airports. During UPA-2, the state was allocated a budget of only ₹108 crore for expansion of railways, whereas the Modi government approved a budget of ₹1,650 crore in 2022-23 and ₹1,838 crore in the previous year, he said.
BJP government failed to present state’s case to finance commission: Agnihotri
Deputy chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri on Sunday retaliated to the allegations made by Jai Ram.
He accused the BJP of provoking power companies regarding water cess and questioned about who was responsible for reducing the borrowing limit of the state and the year-on-year reduction in revenue deficit grant (RDG). He was addressing a press conference in Shimla.
Blaming the BJP government for the poor financial condition of the state, he reiterated that the Jai Ram government had failed to present the state’s case properly before the 15th finance commission. He said that if the government had advocated properly before the commission, there would not have been a reduction of ₹1,319 crore in the revenue deficit grant. He said that on the recommendation of the commission, the revenue deficit grant started from ₹11,000 crore, but now it has come down to ₹3,200 crore. He said that despite the recommendations of the commission, ₹1,400 crore has not been received for the expansion of the proposed airport in Mandi and Kangra Airport of the state. He said they announced 70 national highways for the state before polls, which were never made.
He alleged that the former government owes ₹8 crore towards the fare for the buses hired by the transport corporation for various programmes.