HP fiscal liabilities at Rs 18,071 cr worries CAG

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Shimla, Apr 10: The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) has expressed concern over Himachal Pradesh's rising fiscal liabilities from Rs 12,393 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 18,071 crore in 2006-07, an increase of 46 per cent.

The latest report of the CAG presented in the House today revealed that the liabilities stood as high as 64 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GDSP) in 2006-07 and appeared to be quiet high especially when compared with the Twelfth Finance Commission (TFC) norms of 31 per cent to be achieved by March 2009.

Revenue expenditure had predominant share in total expenditure with the overall revenue expenditure of the state increasing by 49 per cent from Rs 5,141 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 7,644 crore in 2006-07.

Expenditure on general services and interest payments, considered as non-developmental, accounted for 38.28 per cent of the total expenditure of the state during 2006-07 and the interest payments alone accounted for 21.38 per cent of the revenue expenditure during 2006-07.

The report said the expenditure of Rs 3,057 crore on salaries and wages during 2006-07 was Rs 763 crore (33 per cent) more than Rs 2,294 crore projected by the state government in its fiscal correction path. Pension payments increased by 86.12 per cent from Rs 490 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 912 crore in 2006-07, it revealed. The share of the capital expenditure during 2006-07 was only 13 per cent of the total expenditure.

It also lashed out at the government for investing Rs 1,861 crore in Statutory Corporations, rural banks, government companies, joint stock companies and co-operatives till the end of 2006-07 at a rate of about point three per cent, while it raised high cost borrowings from the market during 2002-07 at an average interest rate varying between 9.2 and 10.98 per cent.

UNI

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