Funds crunched Punjab would pay Rs 36,068 crore on debt servicing in the current fiscal, as per the budget estimates. Out of this, Rs 20,122 crore will be used for interest payments alone while the remaining Rs 15,946 crore will be used to repay debt excluding ways and means advances.
For ways and means advances, the state will pay Rs 20,000 crore which will be spent under the capital expenditure head. The state has a whopping debt of Rs 2.63 lakh crore till the end of the last fiscal which amounts to 45.88 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). By the end of the next fiscal, the debt will increase and go up to Rs 2.84 crore. In addition, state agencies, boards, and corporations have a debt of Rs 55,000 crore out of which Rs 22,250 has been guaranteed by the state government.
To keep afloat, the government plans to make Rs 55050 crore from debt receipts. These include market loans worth Rs 31,804 crore, loans and advances from the Central government worth Rs 2,446 crore and ways and means advances worth Rs 20,000 crore.
The government has already taken a loan of Rs 8,000 crore after coming to power. Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said, “We took a loan of Rs 8,000 crore after coming to power. But we have also made better collections than our predecessors in the first quarter of this fiscal. We have managed to pay off Rs 10,500 crore. Also, we have desposited Rs 1,000 crore in the consolidated sinking fund. We have actually paid off Rs 3,500 crore in total.”
Besides, the state would also be taking market loans to the tune of Rs 31,804 crore, loans and advances from the Centre to the tune of Rs 2,446 crore and ways and means advances worth Rs 20,000 crore. The GST compensation regime is set to end in June 2022, and based on the trends of previous years, the state government would be staring at a big hole left in its finances to the tune of Rs 14,000-15,000 crore in FY 2022-23, as per the budget document.
Stating that the government has already initiated revenue augmentation measures, the FM proposed an increase of 17.08 per cent in revenue receipts, contributing Rs 95,378 crore to the state exchequer.
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