Chandigarh: Union Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee on Wednesday accused the SAD-BJP government in Punjab of
being responsible for the state?s "dismal" fiscal health and
of taking a U-turn on allowing FDI in multibrand retail.
"Punjab used to have highest per capita income?Punjab
was the harbinger of green revolution?but in the last few
years under SAD-BJP rule, the state (economy) has come down?
the state is now debt-stressed and it has a debt of Rs
70,000-72,000 crore", Mukherjee said here.
Pointing out that Punjab was among the three states which
had been declared debt-stressed states, Mukherjee said the
state had been asked either to curtail its expenditure or
raise Tax-GSDP ratio in order to bring the economy back on
"Punjab’s tax-GSDP ratio is 7.5 per cent against most of
states having tax to GSDP ratio of 9.5 per cent. The 13th
Finance Commission suggested that Punjab should either
contract its expenditure or raise the tax-GSDP ratio", he
Appealing to voters to give a chance to Congress in
assembly elections, Mukherjee claimed it is Congress
government that could only bring economic prosperity in the
Charging SAD-BJP with taking a U-turn on support to
opening up of FDI into multi-brand retail, the Finance
Minister said had FDI been allowed in multi-brand retail, it
would have immensely helped Punjab farmers.
Rejecting the state government?s charge of not
clearing the security-related expenses during militancy in the
state, Mukherjee said the Centre did pay an amount of Rs 9,913
crore out of Rs 12,500 crore to Punjab and the state
government also paid an amount of Rs 2,600 crore.