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Assam's debt up 73 pc; development spending down 47 pc in

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Assam Government Tuesday said its borrowings rose by a whopping 73.40 per cent to Rs 9,796.33 crore in last fiscal even as 46.84 per cent of its funds for development works remained unused.

In a written reply to a query by AGP MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita, Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state raised debt of Rs 9,796.33 crore from various sources in 2017-18.

This amount was much higher compared to what Assam's borrowings of Rs Rs 5,649.45 crore in 2016-17 financial year, he informed.

On the other hand, the state's spending just crossed the half-way mark of the total allotted fund for various developmental works, the minister said to a separate question by Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque.

During the last fiscal, the state government had allotted Rs 48,189.90 crore for carrying out developmental works, of which only Rs 25,619.83 crore were spent in the entire year, indicating nearly 47 per cent non-utilised funds, Sarma said.

Not getting the fund release proposals from concerned departments has been cited as one of the reasons for under utilisation of allotted funds along with the massive flood that took place in the state in 2017, he added.

In another reply to a query by AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam, Sarma said only 40.08 per cent funds under various constituency related schemes were utilised at Rs 152.07 crore as against sanctioned amount of Rs 379.45 crore in last financial year.

Regarding repayment of debt, Sarma informed that Assam paid back Rs 2,965.39 crore to various institutions in 2017-18, lower than Rs 2,990.88 crore that it had repaid in the previous fiscal.

"As per AFRBM Act, the debt to GDP ratio of the state is permissible up to 28.5 per cent. With the current ratio of 18 per cent, the state government is at comfortable position," he added.

During the last financial year, Assam received Rs 980 crore from the Centre as compensation under the GST, while it already received Rs 467 crore as compensation till August this fiscal, the minister informed the House.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 25 2018. 18:40 IST