Himachal Pradesh is facing a grim financial situation with its debt burden mounting to Rs 46,502.42 crore but the state government cannot manage the finances without raising loans, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told the state Assembly today.
Thakur said the government willtry to limit the loans and keep them under permissible limits.
"We would also take other measures but ensure that developmental works are not affected," Thakur said.
He agreed to the suggestion of CPI(M) member, Rakesh Singha to collectively press for release of arrears of 7.19 per cent share of Himachal Pradesh in hydropower projects under Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as per the provisions of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966.
The Supreme Court had passed an order in this regard in 2011, but the state is yet to get any arrears so far.
Replying to a question by Congress leader Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Thakur said the present government had taken loan of Rs 1,000 crore in three months from 1 January, 2018 to March 31 but Rs 735 crore was utilized for repayment of old loans while actual loan liability was only Rs 235 crore.
Thakur said the previous Congress government had taken net loan of Rs 18,787 crore during its five years tenure.
"The loan amount increased dangerously over the last five years because of the tendency of previous government to open one institution after another," he said.
Thakur said the previous government even exceeded the loan limit in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
He said that after the GST, the revenue receipts had decreased, so the government would try to mobilise other resources also, mainly from forests, mining and hydro power.
"Himachal is getting the central funding in 90:10 ratio to be shared by the Union and the state governments after the NDA government took over against ratio of 60:40 during the UPA rule," Thakur said.
He said the state government would inform the Centre about its financial condition and continuously seek financial help from the Centre to push for developmental projects.
Replying to another question about the Shri Ram Gopal Temple in Kangra district's Damtal, Thakur said the state government will order a high-level inquiry to know the actual land under possession of the temple.
Thakur said the inquiry will bring to light the exact quantum of land in the name of temple, the encroachments over time and the chunks of lands in possession of other people.
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