Punjab: Governor Purohit Writes To CM Mann Raising Questions Over Fiscal Prudence

Punjab: Governor Purohit Writes To CM Mann Raising Questions Over Fiscal Prudence

Purohit in his two-page letter, said that the state government was expected to follow prudent fiscal policies to manage its scarce financial resources, but as per the information available, it was not managing its resources in an effective and efficient manner.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 10:45 PM IST
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Chandigarh: Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday wrote to chief minister Bhagwant Mann, raising questions over the state government’s fiscal management and lack of transparency.

Purohit in his two-page letter, said that the state government was expected to follow prudent fiscal policies to manage its scarce financial resources, but as per the information available, it was not managing its resources in an effective and efficient manner.

The governor said that in 2022-23, the state government had borrowed Rs 33,886 crore as against the approved amount of about Rs 23,835 crore. The additional borrowing needed to be explained as, apparently, it had not been utilised for creation of capital assets, he said and added that it was evident from the fact that the effective capital expenditure had dropped by over Rs 5,100 crore.

Stating that all public borrowings should be carefully calibrated, he said that once a comprehensive picture was available they could approach the government of India for appropriate assistance as Prime Minister had always expressed his commitment for Punjab.

The governor’s letter comes days after Mann had written to the former that his government had added Rs 47,107.6 crore to the state debt in the past one-and-half years and 57% of it had gone into meeting the interest liability on legacy debt of the state. Purohit had sought accountability from the chief minister regarding the utilisation of Rs 50,000 crore debt raised by his government.

It may be recalled that Mann and Purohit have been at odds over several issues for about one and half years of Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) rule in the state, including the CM’s absence from official functions, appointment of vice chancellors and the convening of special assembly sessions. While the governor has also accused Mann of not replying to his letters seeking information on administrative matters, the chief minister had previously referred to the governor's missives as “love letters”.

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