indo-asian news service
SHIMLA, 10 JUNE: Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal today blamed the Mr Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government in Himachal Pradesh for the deteriorating financial health of the state.
"The government has failed to get additional (financial) assistance from the Central government. It has taken a loan of Rs 1,700 crore in three months and the state is heading towards a financial crunch," Mr Dhumal, a BJP leader, said in a statement.
He said the special plan assistance in the annual plan 2012-13 was Rs 1,400 crore, which was reduced to Rs 1,350 crore in the next year’s annual plan by the Planning Commission.
Mr Dhumal, who also held the finance portfolio from 2007-12, said he got the special plan assistance of Rs 1,400 crore in the annual plan of 2012-13, which was an increase of Rs 400 crore over the annual plan of 2011-12.
The BJP leader said the Congress government, during its previous tenure in the state from 2002-07, had raised loans of Rs 8,032 crore and the total loan liability was Rs 21,241 crore at the end of 2007-08.
The subsequent BJP government, Mr Dhumal said, had paid all the arrears of the pay revision, pension and dearness allowance liabilities of the employees and the total loan raised from 2008-09 to 2012-13 was Rs 7,272 crore.
According to official sources, the state had, last month, sought a special financial package from the Central government to overcome a debt of a whopping Rs 29,000 crore.
According to them, Health Minister Kaul Singh met United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on 3 May and sought the special package for accelerating development.
He also urged Mrs Gandhi to revive the state’s industrial package that expired in March 2010.
Tourism, as well as horticulture and hydropower generation, are major contributors to Himachal Pradesh’s economic development.