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Punjab debt could be as high as Rs 2.5 lakh crore: Chief Minister

New Delhi, April 25: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the state’s debt could be as high as Rs 2.5 lakh crore and its economic health way poorer than previously anticipated.

Chief Minister

“Financial implications are becoming clear one by one. The state’s debt is pegged to be much more than the often cited amount of Rs 1.5 lakh crore. It could be as high as Rs 2.5 lakh crore. A White Paper on the state’s economic status is being prepared. It will reveal a lot of hidden debt,” Capt Amarinder told The Tribune.

“The White Paper should be ready by mid-June before the Budget. The Finance Minister and his team are working on it. An assessment of the ground situation is important. We have made many commitments to the people in our election manifesto,” he said.

Commenting on the scale of the anticipated debt of Rs 2.5 lakh crore, the CM said “out-of-box thinking” was required for the state to function.“Our revenue deficit is Rs 26,000 crore,” he said a day after seeking a special package from the Centre.

Asked how he proposed to fulfill the poll promise of farm loan waiver — something the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh Government had already done — Amarinder said the UP scheme was a gimmick.“We are looking at a much comprehensive farm loan waiver.

News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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