Badal, Sukhbir meet Pranab to seek loan waiver

CM Parkash Singh Badal sought a complete waiver from the Centre of outstanding small savings loan of Rs 22,202 crore to Punjab.

New Delhi: Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday sought a complete waiver from the Centre of outstanding small savings loan of Rs 22,202 crore to Punjab or moratorium on loan and interest repayment by the state for five years.

Badal, who was accompanied by his deputy Sukhbir Badal and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Badal, called on Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking his personal intervention in the matter.

Badal said they told Mukherjee that Punjab was a revenue surplus state till 1986-87, but its finances were adversely affected during the long period of militancy and President`s rule.

He said the state currently has an outstanding debt of Rs 77,585 crore as on March 31, 2012 and its annual interest liability was about Rs 6,500 crore.
Badal said, on the one hand, the state had to incur heavy expenditure on security and little effort was made to mobilise additional resources on the other.

He said even the industry didn`t find the border state with a hostile neighbour an attractive destination for investment.

Besides the tax concessions to neighbouring states in 2000 -01 rendered the manufacturing sector totally uncompetitive, even as the state ruined its soil and water resources by incurring expenditure on power, to ensure national food security.

The chief minister also apprised Mukherjee that 13th Finance Commission identified three states of West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala which had revenue deficit in the financial year 2007-08 as debt-stressed.
Subsequently, the Government of India (GoI) constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Expenditure Secretary, which is yet to submit its report.


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