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FM blames wrong policies of UPA for Punjab's 'poor' fiscal health

With the opposition slamming the SAD-BJP government for Punjab's "poor" fiscal health, Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa on Tuesday alleged that the wrong policies of the previous Congress-led regime at the Centre had adversely impacted the state.



Chandigarh: With the opposition slamming the SAD-BJP government for Punjab's "poor" fiscal health, Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa on Tuesday alleged that the wrong policies of the previous Congress-led regime at the Centre had adversely impacted the state.

Speaking during general discussion on the state budget at the Assembly late this evening, Dhindsa accused the previous government of pursuing "erroneous" policies and alleged that it indulged in several scams that caused slowdown in the nation's economy and hit the economic growth.

"The whole country went into recession during the last three years because of the UPA government's polices. Investment flow was hit... Punjab was also affected by the wrong policies," Dhindsa said. However, he said, the state was following fiscal consolidation path even as there were some "slippages" on fiscal front.

Dhindsa said the state was able to bring down its fiscal and revenue deficit as per the parameters of the FRBM Act.

Replying to the charge of Congress Legislature Party Leader Sunil Jakhar who had said Punjab would face loss of revenue despite increase in state's share in central taxes, Dhindsa said the state government was expecting additional funds of Rs 2,200-2,500 crore next fiscal because of increase in devolution of taxes to states.

"Due to 10 per cent increase in states' share in central taxes, Punjab is likely to get funds to the tune of Rs 2,200 to Rs 2500 crore," he said.

However, he said during the current fiscal, the state would get Rs 700 crore less amount what it had projected for this fiscal as part of devolution of taxes to states. "We had targeted Rs 5,400 crore of funds but we think there is going to be a shortfall of Rs 700 crore in these funds," he said.

He said the next fiscal, Punjab would get Rs 7,900 crore as share in central taxes.

Jakhar had earlier claimed that Punjab would get Rs 3,500 crore less amount from the Centre while considering share in taxes and funds under central schemes. Dhindsa, however, rejected the formula adopted by the 14th Finance Commission while working out revenue deficit grants for states.

"We give power subsidy which was not considered by the 14th Finance Commission for giving revenue deficit grant. If some state is giving incentive or state like MP giving bonus and these are considered by the Commission. But why they did not consider our power subsidy. We are against the formula of the Commission as we did not get what we expected," he said.

On the opposition charge of withholding the state's payment as it failed to follow budgetary management, Dhindsa said that no payment was stopped by the Centre.

From Zee News

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