Despite Rs.64,924 cr debt, Punjab says it is growingMarch 16th, 2010 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, March 16 (IANS) Despite a debt touching Rs.64,924 crore, Punjab is moving closer to the national growth rate of 7.2 per cent, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said Tuesday.
“In 2008-09, the growth rate for Punjab was 6.40 per cent against the national growth rate of 6.70 per cent. The advance estimates for 2009-10 indicate the growth rate for Punjab at 6.7 per cent against 7.2 per cent for the national economy. Thus, Punjab’s growth rate is moving closer to the national growth rate,” Badal said, presenting the state’s budget in the assembly.
The Planning Commission has estimated a growth rate of 5.9 per cent for Punjab in the 11th Plan period (2007-2012).
The state’s total budget has been pegged at over Rs.43,925 crore.
Badal said the revenue deficit in the next financial year would be Rs.3,787.73 crore and the fiscal deficit would be Rs.6,706.11 crore.
Among other things, the budget has earmarked Rs 1,100 crore for roads, Rs.916 crore for infrastructure, Rs.3,300 crore for the power sector (increase of 27.27 per cent), Rs. 317.48 crore for agriculture and allied sectors (increase of 25.45 per cent), and Rs.598.43 crore for general education (increase of over 28 per cent).
The primary sector, comprising agriculture and animal husbandry, accounts for 30 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) compared to 19 per cent for India. In 2008-09, this sector grew at 3.42 per cent in Punjab over the previous year while the national growth in this sector was only 1.80 per cent.
Punjab, which contributes over 50 per cent of the total foodgrain to the national kitty, is targeting a growth of 3.74 per cent in this sector in the next fiscal.
Badal said that as per advance estimates, the per capita income at current prices in the state is expected to increase from Rs.52,879 in 2008-09 to Rs.61,035 in 2009-10 - a growth rate of 15.42 percent.
He said that additional resource mobilisation measures, carried out during the current fiscal year, were likely to yield around Rs.1,930 crore more in revenue in 2010-11.
The total debt of the state has risen to Rs.57,787 crore in 2008-09 and is expected to reach Rs.64,924 crore by March 31.
To further economic empowerment of women, the government has reduced the stamp duty for properties transferred in favour of women from 4 to 3 per cent.
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