Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit in a letter to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday accused the state authorities of diverting capital receipts for undisclosed functions.
Raising questions on AAP authorities’s fiscal prudence and transparency, Purohit within the letter sought a proof on “additional borrowing by the government over and above approved by the state Assembly in the Budget”.
“Borrowings should ideally be leveraged for the creation of capital assets and not for rolling out populist measures, ” the Governor mentioned.
“I’m asking this query for the sake of transparency. I guarantee you that when such a complete image is accessible, we will method the federal government of India for applicable help because the Prime Minister has at all times expressed his dedication for Punjab, because the welfare of its magnificent individuals is near his coronary heart, ” he added.
Purohit suggested the Chief Minister that every one public borrowings needs to be rigorously calibrated in order that the youth of Punjab are usually not imperilled by unsustainable debt.
The letter famous that the state is anticipated to comply with prudent fiscal insurance policies to handle its scarce monetary sources.
Earlier, the Governor had written a letter asking the federal government to clarify how they’ve raised debt of Rs 50, 000 crore previously 18 months.
In his newest letter, Purohit mentioned: “As per the information available, the state government is not managing its fiscal resources in an effective and efficient manner. For instance, in 2022-23, the state government has borrowed Rs 33, 886 crore, as against the approved amount of Rs 23, 835 crore, which is over Rs 10, 000 crore above the amount approved originally by the state Assembly in the Budget. This additional borrowing needs to be explained as, apparently, it has not been utilised for creation of capital assets. This is evident from the fact that the effective capital expenditure dropped by over Rs 1, 500 crore — from a projected Rs 11, 375.59 crore to Rs 9, 691.53 crore.”
“Further, the additional borrowing was not even used to discharge legacy interest obligations, as per the figures projected in the revised estimates in this regard. These, in fact, demonstrate that the total payments defrayed on this account during the year finally stood at Rs 19, 905 crore, as against a projection of Rs 20, 100 crore in the budgetary estimates for 2022-23, ” he added.
Quoting the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the Governor mentioned “it indicates that there is substantial variation in the figures furnished by the Chief Minister and the report submitted by the CAG”.