Stating that 70 per cent of the states revenue was swallowed up by only salary and pension bills,the Punjab government on Tuesday expressed concern over the rising wage bill and asserted that efforts will be made to contain it. We have seen substantial growth in revenue as well as in expenditure. Salary,Pension (cost) is growing at over 20 per cent which is not sustainable… We are looking at controlling the growth of these bills, Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa told reporters here on the sidelines of a NABARD seminar.
On whether there will be a ban on recruitment or cut in salary,Dhindsa said: Government recruitment cannot be stopped…people are being hired on contract where the need arises. We will have to look at other ways. We will have to take it to the cabinet and then form a decision.
Mounting expenses on salary and pension had led to swelling of states revenue deficit to over Rs 6,000 crore in 2011-12,he added. Asked whether the revenue deficit would be curtailed in 2012-13,he said: We are working on reducing the deficit. Salary bill has increased which directly impacts deficit. Though exact figure has not come but it may be slightly less or around the same as the last fiscal.
On the forthcoming Budget,Dhindsa said the focus would be on peoples welfare and education while efforts would be made to bring an implementable annual plan.
Queried about the resources raised so far as part of additional resources mobilisation efforts undertaken last year,he said that of the projected Rs 3,000 crore revenue,the state will achieve Rs 1,000 crore of the target by March 31,this year.
On whether government will cut down power subsidy,Dhindsa said this decision was to be taken by the party. I work at the pleasure of the (SAD) party. I cannot comment on the same, he said.