BJP led State Govt has rejected opposition Congress claim of lack of budgetary provisions for projects it has started in state and claimed that foundation stones being laid after making proper budgetary provisions for them.
A Spokesman of the State Government said here today that it was totally wrong that Revenue Receipts of the State have come down from 27% of GSDP in 2006-07 to 22% of GSDP in 2011-12. In fact the ratio of total Revenue Receipts to GSDP was 25.87% in 2006-07 and 24.12% in 2011-12. This decline is due to the fact that the 13th Finance Commission has grossly erred in estimation of our committed liabilities. The 13th Finance Commission has recommended only 50% increase over the devolution recommended by 12th Finance Commission in case of Himachal Pradesh whereas the average increase has been 126% in case of other States. Had we been given equal treatment in fiscal transfers, Himachal Pradesh would have got additional Rs 10725 crore over 5 years period of 2010-14. The 12th Finance Commission had recommended Revenue Deficit Grant of Rs. 10202 Crore whereas the 13th Finance Commission has recommended only Rs. 7889 Crore which shows that there was a decrease of Rs. 2313 Crore. The State Government has taken up the matter several times with Government of India regarding this injustice, but no special assistance has been granted to the State so far. As a result, during 3 years period of 13th Finance Commission, Central grants as percentage of total Revenue Receipts have shown a decline from 48.04% to 42.28%, he added.
He said that despite the adverse recommendations of 13th Finance Commission, due to prudent fiscal management, State has been achieving its FRBM targets and is committed to do so in future and hence was able to receive the state specific grants recommended by 13th Finance Commission.
He said that it was also incorrect that State Government has not taken steps to improve its own resources. Own Tax Revenue has shown an increase of 248% since 2006-07 to 2011-12 as the same has increased from Rs 1656 crore to Rs 4108 crore in 2011-12. Target fixed by the 13th Finance Commission for Tax to GSDP ratio is 6.75% in 2014-15 which was achieved by the State Government in 2011-12 itself.
He said that Interest Payment/Revenue receipt ratio has declined from 21.3% in 2006-07 to 14.36% in 2011-12, which shows that State has taken effective steps to reduce borrowing and to increase Revenue receipts. Debt servicing to GSDP ratio of the State has come down from 8% in 2007-08 to 5% in 2011-12 which shows that the State Government finances are capable of meeting debt servicing requirements.
State Government has taken loans as per borrowing ceiling fixed by Government of India and in compliance to its FRBM Act and after obtaining specific approvals for the same through Reserve Bank of India and other approved sources. Debt to GSDP ratio which was around 55.4% in 2006-07 has been improved and is 43.5% in 2011-12, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that average Growth rate of GSDP of the State in last 4 years has been 8.3% and the growth rate of 7.6% is much higher than national growth rate of 6.9% in 2011-12. Due to this fast pace of growth per capita income of the State has increased from Rs 43966 in 2007-08 to Rs 73608 in 2011-12 which is 20% higher than the National level of Rs 60972.
He said that the Centrally Sponsored Schemes are launched by the Government of India throughout the country and all the States are provided funds as per the funding pattern prescribed in the scheme. However, the funding pattern under CSS for the Special Category States of North–Eastern regions is 90:10 between the GoI and the State Governments. Whereas for Himachal Pradesh the funding pattern is being made as per the funding pattern of the Non Special Category States due to which Himachal has to contribute more for the Centrally Sponsored Schemes as State share. To say that the State Government was not in a position to contribute its share fully to Central Schemes was also wrong as Himachal Pradesh had been complimented by the Central Government for its best performance of Central Schemes including 20 Point Programme in which State had stood first for last three years consecutively. He said that the State Government had not only spent the money received under central assistance but also surpassed it.
The Spokesman said that the State Government was starting schemes without budgetary provisions was also wrong as all the schemes started by the present Government had been implemented fully and new schemes started in the recent past was also being started after making proper provisions of the Budget. He said that Government performance in last four and half years amply speak about it.
He said that in the Annual Plan 2011-12, the Special Central Assistance (SCA) available to the State Government was only Rs. 650.00 crore against a total Plan outlay of Rs.3300.00 crore. The Additional Central Assistance available for other projects was only Rs.501.64 crore. Thus, in the total outlay of Rs.3300.00 crore, the Central Assistance in the form of Special Central Assistance and the Central grant under different Centrally Sponsored Schemes sum up to only Rs.1151.64 crore which is only 34.89%.