Shimla, September 16
A Cabinet sub-committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri will lay a White Paper on Himachal’s financial position in the Vidhan Sabha during the monsoon session beginning September 18.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had constituted the sub-committee during the Budget session in April to bring on record the details of debts and liabilities of the state to indicate its financial health. The debt burden on Himachal, when Sukhu assumed office in December 2022, was Rs 75,000 crore.
Agnihotri, who chaired a meeting of the sub-committee here yesterday, said that the White Paper on the state’s finances was ready and would be laid on the table of the House during the monsoon session of the Assembly. “The White Paper will present a clear picture of the state’s finances and huge liabilities, including Rs 10,000 crore arrears due to government employees, which was the commitment of the previous BJP government,” he added.
The ruling Congress and the BJP have been engaged in a war of words over the grim fiscal health of the state and the mounting debt burden. The two have been blaming each other for raising loans to push the state on the verge of bankruptcy. The focus has now shifted towards the urgent need for a financial assistance for Himachal with Sukhu and the Congress time and again urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the recent rain fury a national calamity.
- The rain disaster has dealt a severe blow to the state’s economy with critical infrastructure like roads and bridges suffering huge damage. Unprecedented heavy rain has also adversely impacted the economy, as GST, VAT and excise collections have registered a considerable dip.
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