Punjab economy takes beating under Congress rule – SAD
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said Punjab’s economy had taken a beating under Congress rule, with budget figures showing a decline in economic growth even as fiscal deficit was on the increase forcing the government to fudge figures and present a gift wrapped budget which hid more then it revealed.
Addressing newsmen in the media gallery along with senior leader Bikram Singh Majithia, former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said every section of society would have to pay a heavy price for the false figures released in the budget which would make even disbursal of salaries difficult what to talk about granting DA and arrears to employees besides implementing social welfare schemes. “The budget does not account for power subsidy arrears of Rs 4,500 crore, Rs 1,000 crore shortfall in allocation for salaries and DA for employees besides Rs 4,000 crore pending bills in the treasury”.
Mr Parminder Dhindsa also flayed attempts to impose taxes through the backdoor with the government announcing it would increase stamp duty by three per cent from April 2019 but not including this in the budget.
The Akali leader said economic growth was the most important indicator of progress and that this had come down from 7.16 per cent during SAD-BJP tenure to 5.93 per cent now. He said this was coupled with an increase in revenue deficit also with the State now spending more of its income than it did earlier. “The revenue deficit which was 1.7 per cent during SAD-BJP tenure has gone up to 2.3 per cent this year”.
The former FM said the government was also failing to maintain much needed fiscal discipline. He said the fiscal deficit, which was maintained at three per cent as stipulated by the centre during SAD-BJP tenure, had now gone up to 3.4 per cent. He said one reason for this was an increase in borrowings. He said against Rs 90,000 crore borrowings of the SAD- BJP government during ten years in office, the Congress government had already borrowed Rs 28,000 crore and was set to borrow another Rs 20,000 crore this year.
He said even as borrowings had increased the own tax revenue of the government had reduced. He said this revenue had been inflated by showing borrowings as part of revenue. “If we are to take different heads the government had failed to meet its target of Rs 6,000 crore by way of excise collections with the revised target showing it would fall short by at least Rs 600 crore”. He said similarly the government would fall short of Rs 400 crore in case of stamp duty collection. He said in case of mining the facts were even more startling. “Congress minister Navjot Sidhu said he would ensure a collection of Rs 2,000 crore. The government said it would secure Rs 300 crore. The State is likely to get only Rs 32 crore by way of sand mines”, he added.
Mr Dhindsa said the own tax revenue increase of two to three per cent was also due to GST compensation finalized by the previous SAD-BJP government. He said earlier State own tax revenue versus central devolution was eighty percent vis a vis 20 per cent respectively. Now this has been split fifty per cent each which is not a good sign”, he added.
– PTC NEWS