The State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has criticised the 13th Finance Commission for giving a rise of just 50 per cent in its fiscal grant to Himachal Pradesh compared to a 126 per cent increase given to other States.

State secretariat member Tikender Panwar in a statement on Thursday said the Chief Minister should call an all-party meeting to discus the financial health of the State. Himachal has asked for an additional loan of Rs.180 crore whereas the total loan of the State has crossed a whopping Rs.23,000 crore.

The Finance Commission has wrongly estimated the non-Plan expenditure which mainly includes salaries, pensions and interest liabilities that amount to around 56 per cent, said the CPI (M).

This is because of a neo-liberal approach followed by the Government and it had stated that the salary expenditure should not exceed more than 35 per cent of the revenue expenditure. The Government is the biggest employer in the hill State and the service sector is largely developed here so the condition of reducing the expenditure is not acceptable.

The CPI (M) further stated that the condition to reduce the fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent in 2010-11 and 3 per cent subsequently will severely cut the State's Plan expenditure thereby harshly affecting development schemes.

Even the ration quota for the hill State has been drastically cut despite the fact it has to import both rice and wheat, said the party.