Govt should issue white paper on state's financial condition: Khadse

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Nagpur, Nov 18 (UNI) The Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislature has demanded that the Government issue a white paper on the financial condition of the state and the status of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) that it had entered into with various private players over the last few years.

Speaking to newspersons here today, former Maharashtra Finance Minister Eknath Khadse alleged that 99 per cent of the MoU's signed by the state government had not been implemented. ''Not even one power project for which MoUs have been signed in the past five years, has taken off,'' he said.

The state's finances are in doldrums, with an outstanding debt of a whopping Rs 147,000 crore, up from Rs 38,000 crore in 1999 when the Democratic Front unseated the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government, Mr Khadse said. The government's reputation was so bad that nobody was willing to lend the Rs 16,500 crore that it proposes to raise through bonds to remove the backlog of irrigation in the state, he said. ''The state's credit rating has plunged from AAA+ in 1999 to D in 2002 to -BBBSO now,'' he alleged.

Mr Khadse said the state government has fallen into a debt trap, and had to borrow money to repay the old borrowings and the interest thereon. Most of the loans to the tune of Rs 55,000 crore in the cooperative sector, for which the state government had stood guarantor, had gone bad, he alleged.

The former minister described as ''misguiding'', the claims by the government of huge foreign direct investment (FDI) in Maharashtra. Most of the money had come in the information technology (IT) sector, and that too in Mumbai and Pune, he said.

The government must reveal how many jobs the FDIs have created, he said.

Mr Khadse said that various courts had slapped fines on as many as seven ministers in the Maharashtra Cabinet and asked them to pay the money out of their own pocket. Among the seven ministers are Ajit Pawar, Sunil Tatkare, Patangrao Kadam, Anees Ahmed and Satish Chaturvedi, he said. The courts had imposed the fines because these ministers had either provided false or incomplete information, he said.

UNI

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