Millennium Post

HP heading for debt trap : Agnihotri alleges cover-up

Shimla: Faced with highest-ever debt liability of Rs 55,737 crore, the BJP government must come out clean on its plans to save the state from falling in the debt trap instead of covering-up vital facts on the precarious fiscal health of Himachal Pradesh, and its future steps to tide over the crisis.

Leader of opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, on Wednesday accused Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur of committing grave violations in raising loans beyond permissible limits of law and thereafter maintaining complete silence in debt liability during 2020-21 budget presentation in the assembly on March 8.

"I failed to understand that why you did not write all details about the loans raised and its necessities in your budget speech when you had committed to meet all gap funding from the central funding and external aided projects. The limit of 3 per cent fixed as par law – Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management, (FRBM), has also been exceeded. It is a serious violation" said Agnihotri.

While initiating the debate on the Budget, leader of the opposition said, the government listed out fake sources for resource mobilisation in 2019-20 Budget as out of Rs 10,303 crore funds of external aided projects never came to the


Now, under the compulsion, Rs 1013 crore has been allotted from the state's Budget to Mandi green field airport projects and other projects on airport expansions as the centre did not give a penny despite Chief minister's tall


"This airport proposed for Mandi will remain as a non-starter or a dream. Even land acquisition will cost Rs 2000 crore and another Rs 1000 crore on land development. What will happen to release Pay Commission arrears to the employees if you fund a Rs 5000 crore airport? he further asked.

Agnihotri alleged major scam in purchase of medicines worth Rs 125 crore through Chief Medical Officers. Medicines worth Rs 11.50 crore were purchased in Kangra and an equal amount in


The medical college Hospital at Tanda (Kangra) purchased medicines worth Rs 11 crore and IGMC Shimla Rs 7 crore.

He also stated "It's going to land the government in big trouble when more facts more to light. The amount is more than that spent on subsidy to give free ration to the citizens".

Leader of opposition had also referred to Global Investors meeting and raised questions on Rs 97000 crore MoUs which were signed then.

By calling it a fake and fictitious figure, he took a jibe, said that at a time when established industrial units are migrating from the state, where does the claim of new investments stand? asked quoting instances of some industrial units which closed their operations in Baddi Barotiwala.

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