The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), referring to the letter of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, gave a detailed account of increased debt and increased revenue of the state to the Governor of Punjab. The Mann government of Punjab has written and asked the Governor, Shri Banwarilal Purohit, time and again to take up the matter of Rural Development Fund with the Bharatiya Janata Party government at centre.
In response Purohit asked the Mann government about the increased debt on the state since the formation of the AAP government. Bhagwant Mann wrote another letter to the governor with all the details of debt and revenue increase and also once again asked him to act in the interest of Punjab and get RDF released immediately.
Referring to the letter, the AAP Punjab chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said that our government inherited debt of 3 lakh crores from the previous SAD-BJP and Congress governments of Punjab. He said that this debt and their corruption is responsible for the current financial situation of the state. He added that the Mann government took a loan of 27,016 crores to pay the interest of that debt.
Kang said that 10,208 crores of new loans were spent on capital expenditures. But most important are bailout packages that the Mann government gave to departments like PUNSUP, PSCADB (Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank), RDF etc. Kang said that all these departments are very crucial and were neglected by the previous governments. They directly affect the rural areas, middle and lower middle class of Punjab.
He said that all these departments were in deep crisis and the Mann government through these bailout packages sustained them, hence 350 crores for PUNSUP, 798 crores for PSCADB and 845 crores were given for RDF. Apart from these, to clear power subsidy arrears from 2017 to March 2022, the Mann government has spent 2,556 crores of rupees and to clear Sugarcane farmers' arrears Rs. 1008 crores were spent. 4000 crores of sinking fund investment was also made.
Kang added that all these increased debt on Punjab by 48,530 crores, not 50,000 crores as mentioned by the governor, but it is notable that the previous governments and their debt and pending arrears were responsible for new loans too. Kang said that at the same time the governor must not ignore that since the formation of Mann government revenue has significantly increased too.
Revenue from GST registered 16.6% increase as compared to 2021-22 (during Congress government), excise gave 37% revenue increase, Tax on Vehicles 13% and Stamps and Registration 28%. Kang added that these revenue increases were only possible because Punjab has a transparent and honest government of Bhagwant Mann. He said that our government is pro-Punjab unlike previous governments who only amassed Punjab's debt but the Mann government is working diligently to improve the financial situation of the state.
He added that the Mann government implemented the sixth pay commission, cleared pending dues, gave bailout packages to all the important departments and also 36,000 new government jobs to the youth. He said that previous governments used to take debt at 9-11% interest rate because they had their commissions in it but we're taking loans at the interest of 7-9% because our government is on a mission to improve the debt situation.
Kang said that the governor is politicising the routine process which is highly unnecessary. Instead he should act in the interest of Punjab and ask the Modi government to release 5600 crores of RDF and also to accord a moratorium on debt payment so that the state can recover from this financial crisis. He added that Punjab is not begging for anything but we are only asking for what is our right.