Other States

‘Punjab revenue may dip by 30%’

Power subsidy for farmers to continue, says Chief Minister

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said capital expenditure in essential sectors such as health, education and infrastructure would be retained at ₹5,000 crore, notwithstanding the economic crisis facing the State, which was expecting a shortfall of nearly 30% in the Total Revenue Receipts (TRR) in the financial year 2020-21 on account of lockdown effect.

Reviewing the economic situation of the State at a videoconference of the Empowered Committee of Cabinet on Fiscal Management, the Chief Minister said the focus of his government was on ensuring that salaries and pensions continue to be paid on time.

‘No compromise’

“No compromise could be made to ensure funding for all front-line departments, such as health, police and local bodies, which were working 24X7 in battling the disaster,” he said.

As per the Finance Department’s estimates, Punjab can expect TRR of around ₹62,246 crore during FY 2020-21, i.e. a shortfall of around ₹25,758 crore or a 29.26% dip.

The Chief Minister said the power subsidy to farmers would continue and there was no question of the government accepting the condition to replace it with direct cash transfer for availing of the additional borrowing limit allowed by the Centre.

“This so-called power reform was violative of the country’s federal structure,” he said, adding that he would write to the Prime Minister on this issue as the Central government could not put conditions on States for availing loans.

Pointing out that this, and the recent Ordinance on agricultural reforms, could further pave the way for elimination of the MSP regime, Captain Amarinder said he would convey Punjab’s opposition to the Centre very strongly.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 12:28:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-revenue-may-dip-by-30/article31783079.ece

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