Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, replying to the budget speech during the ongoing budget session of the State Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday, said that in the public debt three different heads are included; and the opposition should not confuse one with the other while calculating the final debt figures.
“The State Public Enterprises loan figure in 2014-15 was Rs 69,922 crore, while in the year 2021-22, the figure was Rs 47,211 crore. The debt graph of the state at present has declined,” said Khattar.
“Our GSDP is constantly increasing, at present it is increased up to Rs 10 lakh crore. The debt limit was increased from 25 to 33 percent during the COVID-19 period. We are within the prescribed limit of around 26-27 percent while the neighbouring state Punjab is at 48 percent,” said the Chief Minister.
He further shared that the HSVP had a pending debt of Rs 14334 crore. Out of this, about Rs 6000 crore has been settled and now Rs 8334 crore has been left. Likewise, the HSIIDC had a pending debt of Rs 13881 crore. Out of this, around Rs 7000 crore has been settled and now Rs 6944 crore has been left. The power utilities had a pending debt of more than Rs 37000 crore, which has been reduced to Rs 14800 crore, said Khattar.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government has included an amount of Rs 25,850 crore of the UDAY scheme in its debt account and this is the reason that the profit graph of the power department is constantly rising, he added.
Responding to the contradictory figures shared by the Opposition leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on State Debt publically from November 22 to till date, Khattar said that sharing five different figures is going to question the credibility of Hooda only, every time the Opposition leader shares different figures, it is certainly denting his image only. “We are not afraid of criticism, and will keep introducing good governance reforms,” he said.
Haryana is Third in Country in Terms Of Investment
Khattar informed the House that with an investment of Rs 90 per person, Haryana is at third position in the country in terms of investment after Karnataka and Maharashtra that have per person investment of Rs 303 and Rs 108 respectively. State’s investment graph is constantly increasing, he added.
The Chief Minister said that for 2023-24, Rs 7314 crore allocated for agriculture and allied sectors, which is 3.9 percent of the total budget. In the revised budget estimates of 2022-23 it was Rs 5758 crores and in the year 2021-22 it was Rs 4100 crores.
The Chief Minister shared that in the year 2014-15, the total allocated budget for this sector was Rs 2156 crore which was only 3.4 percent. The present government has allocated 3.9 percent to this sector.
Responding to an issue regarding why Haryana gets less financial help from the Centre as compared to neighbouring states, Khattar said that Centre follows the formula of more progressive the state is, lesser the financial grant will be. The financial management of Haryana is well managed and this is the reason that we get less help as compared to its neighbouring states.
The Chief Minister said that after GST, the Centre had announced to give 14 percent compensation to the States. As per the decision of the GST Council, loan has been taken for the amount which is to be given to the states. This debt is reflected in the State debt account, though this debt would be repaid by the Centre only.
‘Now MLAs can spend grant allocated under Vidhayak Adarsh Gram Yojana in cities also’
Khattar announced that now MLAs can spend an amount of Rs two crore being given under the Vidhayak Adarsh Gram Yojana for the development works in the urban areas as well. Earlier, the MLA used to spend the said grant in rural areas only but now this amount can be used for the development works in the urban areas as well.
He also announced to rename this scheme as Adarsh Nagar Evam Gram Yojana. The Director, Panchayat will be the nodal officer for this, announced Khattar. The Chief Minister further announced that the Girl's college to be constructed at Balsamand, Hisar will be named after Late Chaudhary Bhajan Lal.
Khattar said that before finalizing the budget, suggestions from all the stakeholders are taken and this time also around 700 suggestions came, out of which most of the suggestions, which were feasible, have been incorporated. The budget for the financial year 2023-24 was unanimously passed in the House after the Chief Minister's reply on the budget estimates.