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Previous Govts Have Pushed Punjab Into 3 Lakh Cr Debt: CM Mann

The ministers of the AAP government in Punjab have even alleged that the Congress and Badal governments have made Punjab a debtor of Rs 3 lakh crore in the last 50 years

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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday accused the previous governments of pushing the state into debt and said the AAP government would investigate where the money was used and it would be recovered. In a tweet in Punjabi by the party's state unit, the party chief was quoted as saying, "Previous governments have left a debt of Rs 3 lakh crore on Punjab. But where was it used? We will investigate and recover as it is people's money."

It is worth noting that even before the Punjab Legislative Assembly elections in February, AAP leaders had targeted the previous state governments for trapping the state in a debt trap. Ahead of the elections, AAP leader Raghav Chadha had also accused the previous Akali-BJP and then Congress government in Punjab of pushing the state into debt.

Chadha had then claimed that every child born in Punjab has a debt of Rs 1 lakh on them. The ministers of the AAP government in Punjab have even alleged that the Congress and Badal governments have made Punjab a debtor of Rs 3 lakh crore in the last 50 years.

According to the data of Punjab government and RBI, the debt on Punjab government has reached Rs 26,955 crore in 2019-20, Rs 26,000 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 30,000 crore in 2021-22. At the same time, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the Punjab government is estimated to be Rs 6,07,594 crore in 2021-22 (at current prices). 

This equates to 2.8 per cent annual growth on GSDP in 2019-20 (Rs 5,74,760 crore). As per the advance estimates stated in the Punjab Economic Survey for 2020-21, GSDP (at current prices) is projected to contract by 5.8 per cent in 2020-21, an increase of Rs 5,41,615 crore over the previous year.

According to the budget presented by the Punjab government, the total expenditure for 2021-22 is estimated to be Rs 1,68,015 crore, which is 12 per cent higher than 2019-20. The revised expenditure for 2020-21 is Rs 1,40,000 crore, which is 10 per cent lower than the budget estimate for the year. The total revenue receipts for 2021-22 are estimated at Rs 95,258 crore which is 24 per cent more than 2019-20. Of this, Rs 45,193 crore (47 per cent) will be mobilised by the state from its own resources and Rs 50,065 crore (53 per cent) will come from the Centre. The resources received from the center will be in the form of state's share in central taxes (13 per cent of the state's revenue receipts) and grants-in-aid (40 per cent of the revenue receipts).

Total own tax revenue of Punjab is estimated to be Rs 37,434 crore in 2021-22, which is 12 per cent higher than 2019-20. According to the revised estimates in 2020-21, the state's own tax revenue is estimated to be 15 per cent less than the budget estimate. The state's own tax-GSDP ratio is projected to increase from 5.2 per cent in 2019-20 to 5.6 per cent in 2020-21 and 6.2 per cent in 2021-22. This means that the growth in tax collections of the state in 2020-21 and 2021-22 is expected to exceed the growth in GSDP.


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