The interim report of the 15th Finance Commission has recommended a revenue deficit grant of Rs 11,431 crore to Himachal Pradesh for 2020-21, while also recommending grants worth RS 636 crore to local bodies in the state and over Rs 500 crore for disaster risk mitigation.
According to the report tabled in Parliament last week, the pre-devolution revenue deficit of the state is Rs 18,264 crore, while the post-devolution deficit is Rs 11,431 crore. The Commission has recommended an inter se share of 0.799 per cent for Himachal in the net proceeds of the taxes (divisible pool).
For seismic and landslide risk reduction programmes in 2020-21, the report has recommended a total allocation of Rs 150 crore from the proposed National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF) to the hill states and north-eastern states, out of which Himachal has been allocated Rs 50 crore.
It has further recommended a sum of Rs 454 crore for the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) including a share of Rs 409 crore by the Centre and Rs 45 crore by the state.
For rural and urban local bodies in the state, the Commission has recommended Rs 429 crore and Rs 207 crore respectively.
Last August, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had told the Assembly that the state was facing an overall debt burden of more than Rs 49,000 crore.
“I thank the Finance Commission and the central government. The state government had taken up the matter with the Centre and requested that the state’s grant be increased,” he said.
Shimla Rural MLA Vikramaditya Singh (Congress) said, “Perhaps the recommended grant will help in getting some relief from mounting debts. We hope the money will be used for development works in the state and not for irrelevant expenses.”
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