Shimla8 hours ago
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The Modi government at the center has given a big blow to the Himachal government, which has been drinking ghee after taking loans for a long time. Within 6 months of the change of power, the center has reduced the loan limit of Himachal. Last year, when there was a BJP government in the state under the leadership of Jairam Thakur, Himachal was allowed to take a loan of Rs 14,500 crore annually.
After the BJP was out of power in Himachal and the Congress was in control, the Modi government has reduced the loan limit by Rs 5,500 crore. That is, in 2023-24, the Sukhu government will be able to take a loan of Rs 9000 crore only. Due to this, the financial health of the Himachal government, which is drowned in debt of more than 76 thousand crore rupees, is sure to deteriorate. The CAG has already warned Himachal regarding this.
If the condition of the loan limit of the state is not removed, then in the coming few months it will be challenging even to pay salaries and pensions to the employees and pensioners, because the state has limited means of its own income. At the same time, the central government is giving shocks one after the other.
Himachal government was given exemption to take three percent loan of GSP till 2020. It was increased to 5 percent in May 2020 during the Corona period. Now the Center has abolished this exemption. This decision is being seen as a punishment for restoring Old Pension System (OPS) in the state, as the central government was repeatedly saying that OPS should not be restored. It is not in the interest of the state.
Matching grant also closed
The matching grant that Himachal gets every year in lieu of NPA has also been stopped by the central government. The state government used to deposit Rs 1780 crore as NPA with PFRDA every year in March, but since April this year OPS has been restored in Himachal. Therefore, from April 2023, the state and employees’ share in NPA will not be deposited with PFRDA. In view of this, the Center has also stopped its matching grant. Due to this Himachal has suffered a loss of loan of about 1700 crores.
GST reimbursement amount closed from June 2022 itself
The budget of more than 3500 crores to be received as GST reimbursement amount is also closed from June 2022. On the contrary, Congress has made such promises to the public, to fulfill which Congress will need crores of rupees in addition, so that OPS can be given to NPS employees. Women can be bought for Rs.1500, farmers’ milk for Rs.80 and Rs.100.
Chief Minister’s meeting with the Finance Minister in a while
After the swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Justice of the state, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Sukhu left for Delhi in the afternoon. After some time he has a meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sita Raman in Delhi. In this demand will be made to remove the condition of state loan limit, matching grant of NPA and restoration of GST reimbursement amount. He called it unfortunate to reduce the loan limit and stop the matching grant.
that’s why things are getting worse
Rs 2444 crore is being spent on salary, pension, interest payment, social security, gratuity in the state during 2022-23. In the year 2025-26, it will increase to Rs 3572 crore, which means after 3 years it will increase by more than Rs 10 thousand crore. Employees and pensioners have outstanding liabilities of more than Rs 10,000 crore.
The state’s economy is under pressure due to rising expenditure on salaries and pensions. In the last financial year 2021-22, Rs 1125 crore was being spent on payment of salaries. In 2022-23, it increased to Rs 1329 crore. It is estimated to be Rs 1675 crore in the year 2025-26.
10,088 crore will be spent on pension payment
6500 crore was being spent on payment of pension in the last financial year. It will be 7,790 crores in the year 2022-23, while after 3 years it will increase to Rs 10,088 crores. At present Rs 999 crore is being spent on social security. It is estimated to be Rs 1190 crore in the year 2025-26.
6200 crore needed for interest payment
The economic health of the state is rapidly deteriorating due to the payment of interest on old loans. During the current financial year, the state has to repay the interest of Rs 5,104 crore on old loans, while after 3 years it will exceed Rs 6,200 crore.
55% budget is being spent on salary-pension-interest payment
More than 55% is being spent on pension, salary, interest payment, gratuity. Due to this very less budget is being left for the development work. The state still has outstanding dues of about Rs 10,000 crore towards the employees. Already before this Himachal has a debt of more than 70 thousand crore rupees. It is estimated to reach Rs 74 thousand crore by March 31.