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Task force of experts to help State reduce debt burden

Ajit Pawar. File photo: PTI

Ajit Pawar. File photo: PTI  

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In first meet, Ajit Pawar spells out focus areas for growth

The State government will set up a task force of experts from the financial and banking sectors to find a way out of its ballooning debt.

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Finance and Planning Ajit Pawar has issued directives to set up a financial action task force of private experts, which would submit a report for the road ahead, keeping in mind the ₹4.72 lakh crore debt burden on the State.

In his first review meet of the department, the Finance Minister said the State will have to accelerate growth in four key areas: tourism, port, education and services, officials said. “The Deputy Chief Minister has asked us to prepare a note on the task force, which will have many global and Indian experts on board,” said a senior official of the finance department.

Overall, the State’s debt burned in 2011-12 was ₹2,25,976 crore, which increased to ₹2,94,261 crore by 2014-15. It further increased to ₹4,02,421 crore in 2017-18. The revised estimates of 2018-19 are at ₹4,14,411 crore and the budgetary estimates for 2019-20 are ₹4,71,642 crore, claims a report tabled before the Finance Minister.

The report further said another ₹2 lakh crore remain off books as recorded extra budgetary borrowing. “The State has no other option but to explore new sectors for growth. The task force will immediately suggest measures to reduce the debt,” said an official.

The State government has already given guarantees on loans of ₹25,134.86 crore taken to complete major infrastructure projects. These include the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and Metro 4. The State also incurs subsidies of ₹22,136 crore on various schemes.

All of these have to be rationalised going into the future, the minister said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:30:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/task-force-of-experts-to-help-state-reduce-debt-burden/article30518485.ece

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