The newly elected government of Punjab, led by Bhagwant Mann, inherited a debt of almost Rs 3 lakh crore from the previous governments of Congress and Akali Dal.
In its interim budget for the first three months of the 2022-23 fiscal year, the government has allocated most of the revenue to paying interest on loans.
The state government on Tuesday passed its vote-by-account budget of Rs 37,120.23 crore for three months.
Most of the state revenue, namely Rs 4,788.2 crores, will be paid as interest on the loan.
Then, Rs 4,643.74 crore will be spent on education, followed by Rs 2,367.23 crore for agriculture, Rs 2,726.95 for administration of justice and police, Rs 1,484.64 for Social Security, Women and Child Development and Rs 1,345.61 crore for Health and Family Welfare, excluding other allotments.
“WILL ENHANCE REVENUE GENERATION”
When asked how the state government will deliver on its promises (e.g. paying Rs 1,000 per month to every woman, regularizing 35,000 employees and filling 25,000 vacancies in different departments), Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said the government will improve revenue generation.
“We will cut spending, control tax evasion and the plunder of revenue,” Cheema said.
THE PUNJAB DEBT
Of the almost Rs 3 lakh crore debt of Punjab, Rs 1 lakh crore has been contributed by the Congress government over the past five years.
Former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, during his 111-day tenure, made announcements worth over Rs 3,500 crore.
The financial burden on Punjab, according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, is expected to reach Rs 3.37 lakh crore by 2024-25.
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