Facing criticism from the main opposition BJP, the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh Thursday said it was ensuring equal and balanced development of the state.Unlike the previous BJP government, the present government did not discriminate between the legislators and developmental expectations of all areas were being fulfilled by rising above the political considerations, an official statement quoting Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma said.On financial crunch, he said it was the BJP government which could not represent its case properly before the 13th Finance Commission, as a result of which the commission grossly underestimated the committed liability of the state government.
"The state government has inherited a bad legacy with respect to the finances. The BJP government had left the state in a precarious financial condition due to the mismanagement of finances," he said.Two-time chief minister and leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal has alleged the government has done nothing in the name of development in the two years of its tenure."The enhanced pay structure was released by the BJP government just before the assembly elections, causing an annual burden of over Rs.1,000 crore on the government," the minister said.
Sharma said the Finance Commission had recommended an average increase of 126 percent in total devolution to other states compared to 12th Finance Commission award, the increase in case of Himachal Pradesh was only 50 percent, which was the lowest in the country."Had Himachal got an equal treatment comparable with overall increase of 126 percent for the country as a whole, it would have received an additional fund transfer of Rs.10,725 Crore between 2010 and 2015."
"The situation has become alarmingly grim during the last two years of the award period of the 13th Finance Commission as the non-plan revenue deficit grant during 2013-14 has declined to Rs.1,313 crore from Rs.1,883 crore in 2012-13 and has reduced to Rs.406 crore in 2014-15," he said.As on March, 2008, the state had a loan liability of Rs.21,241 crore which has increased to Rs.28,707 crore March 2013. Thus loan liability has increased by Rs.7,466 crore from 2008 to 2013, Sharma said.In fact, loan amounting to Rs.1,838 crore was converted into guarantee in 2009-10. Thus the actual loan taken from 2008 to 2013 was Rs.9,304 crore, whereas the loan liability increased only by Rs 8,032 crore from 2003 to 2008, he added.