Recovery of loans low, debt shoots up to Rs 1.81 lakh crore

Chandigarh, May 16: Punjab’s total revenue in 2016-17 — the last year of the Akali BJP regime — fell short by over Rs 4,770 crore, the debt mounted to over Rs 1.81 lakh crore even as the recovery of loans and advances remained the lowest and disbursement of loans remained the highest in the past several years.

The state recovered just Rs 99.57 crore as loans and advances as against Rs 5,728.06 crore recovered in the previous fiscal (2015-16).Against this, the state disbursed Rs 7,181.49 crore as loans and advances even as the budget proposals had laid a provision to disburse only Rs 399.70 crore. The grants-in-aid, received from the Centre, increased by Rs 1,224.63 crore in 2016-17, while tax revenue seems to have fallen prey to the pre- election sops of the Akali- BJP government.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, told that the fiscal indicators for 2016-17, released now, have confirmed his worst fears. “The revenue deficit is nearly one billion dollars. The debt, which is over Rs 1.81 lakh crore against a projected debt of Rs1.30 lakh crore, is high and unsustainable. As FM, I have no option but to immediately take corrective steps on cutting on all wasteful expenditure,” he said.

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