Rs 52,000 cr debt on MP govt

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Bhopal, Feb 27 (UNI) The debt burden on the Madhya Pradesh government has gone up to Rs 52,000 crore by 2008 as compared to Rs 35,000 crore in 2003, Finance Minister Raghavji said today.

The state owed of only Rs 5,000 crore when the BJP government, led by Sunderlal Patwa, demitted office at the end of 1992, while it rose to Rs 35,000 crore in the ten-year Congress regime of Digvijay Singh, Mr Raghvaji told reporters after presenting the state's budget for 2008-09.

Taking a cue from the BJP government in Chhattisgarh, which started distributing rice at Rs three per Kg to all BPL families, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government also decided to distribute wheat at Rs three per kg and rice at Rs 4.50 per kg to all BPL families in Madhya Pradesh.

The price of foodgrains to BPL families had been reduced by Rs two per kilo, he said, adding that budgetary support of Rs 160 crore had been made for this welfare scheme.

Mr Raghavji claimed that Madhya Pradesh had initiated gender budget for 13 departments last year and it rose to 21 departments this year.

Central assistance directly provided to state-sponsored institutions totalled Rs 3,472.08 crore, while Central aid to district panchayats for various schemes was estimated at Rs 3,100 crore, the Finance Minister said.

About the power sector, Mr Raghavji said, the state electricity board's transmission loss had been brought down from six to five per cent and distribution loss from 50 to 40 per cent during the BJP rule.

He claimed that the BJP government had implemented most of the poll promises.

Claiming that the state had not availed ways and means advance in the last two years or resorted to overdraft in the last four years, Mr Raghavji said during 2008-09, targets set under Fiscal responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005 were expected to be achieved.

UNI SP SR KN1537

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