PUNJAB CHIEF Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal Wednesday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the outstanding debt of the state government on March 31 last year stood at Rs 1,12,628 crore and it is estimated to go up to Rs 1,24,471 crore by the end of the current fiscal.
Kaushal, while submitting the details of the amount due to be paid by five departments, including school and higher education, local bodies, public works, sales tax and irrigation submitted that though these departments have an amount of Rs. 354.24 crore pending in the treasury but have a liability of Rs 1,433.98 crore of which bills have not been presented to the treasury.
The information was submitted before the court headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal on Wednesday during the resumed hearing of a bunch of petitions relating to disbursement of pending interest subsidy to as many as 101 industrial units by Punjab government’s department of industries and commerce under the modernisation scheme, 1996.
Kaushal informed the court on Wednesday that the estimated budgeted subsidy for the financial year 2015-16 was Rs 72.45 crore out of which only Rs 4.19 crore had been disbursed by the department after getting the same cleared from the treasury. It was added that the department after taking loan from the Punjab Small Industries and Exports Corporation, which will be recouped by the finance department.
Kaushal submitted that the delay in refund of VAT claims is not on account of non-availability of fund but prima facie on account of issues which are internal to the administration of the excise and taxation department. He submitted that the excise department has a separate fund, the Punjab VAT Refund Fund, for allowing refund claims. Kaushal apprised the court that the directions have already been issued to the excise department to expedite the process of refund without any further delay.
During the arguments of the case, the court was informed by the excise department that around Rs 300 crore of VAT refunds were pending for verification and would be cleared after verification is over. It was also informed that the department is going to release by March 8 around Rs 69 crore VAT dues wherein verification has been complete.
“All out efforts are continuously made to mobilise sufficient resources for expeditious discharge of pending and recurring liabilities as a perpetually ongoing process,” the Chief Secretary submitted.
The case will come up for hearing on March 28.