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Punjab At The Bottom Of Rural Per Capita Development

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State’s liabilities ‘more than twice’ its assets

Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 28

What is extremely disturbing about Punjab is that it figures among the states whose financial liabilities are twice than that of its financial assets. This has been stated in a report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

There are 15 states having more liabilities than their financial assets, while West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab have financial liabilities that are twice than that of their respective financial assets. The ratio of Punjab’s assets and liabilities is 43:100. That means, if Punjab’s assets are of Rs 43, its liabilities are of Rs 100.

Explaining the assets and liabilities, the CAG has stated that the government accounts take into consideration only the financial liabilities (debt) of the government and the financial assets (investments) created out of the expenditure incurred by the government. In case of the state governments, loans, advances from the Government of India constitute public debt for that government. Besides these, liabilities of the government also include small savings from Public Provident Fund from the employees of the government and certain obligations like insurance, pension fund and other deposits. The CAG has prepared a report, “Union and State Finances at a Glance for year 2008-09”. That is the second report to be issued by the CAG in this regard. The report for year 2009-10 will be released by March 31. “We have prepared the report after the consolidation of all fiscal figures regarding the transactions reported by the treasuries and other account-rendering units like Public Works Divisions, Forest Divisions for the year 2008-09,” said a senior CAG official.

In the CAG report, with Rs 28 per capita expenditure on rural development, Punjab figures at the bottom. Only Delhi figured behind it. The report reveals that in states like Andhra Pradesh and Haryana, the per capita expenditure on rural development was Rs 372 and Rs 346 respectively. In Bihar, it was Rs 223, Uttar Pradesh Rs 234, Jharkhand Rs 265, MP Rs 285, Orissa Rs 306 and Rajasthan Rs 316.

In the report, Punjab figures among average states in expenditure on health and family welfare and also in the education sector. The per capita expenditure on health in Punjab was Rs 308 in 2008-09 and and it was behind Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, HP, J and K, and even Manipur and Tripura. In the education sector, the per capita expenditure was Rs 1,139. In this sector, Punjab was behind several states, including Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, HP, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Delhi. As far as revenue expenditure on social services is concerned, Punjab again figures among average states, behind 22 states and Union Territories. In expenditure on general services, Punjab is well placed. In the transport sector, Punjab figures among below average states, behind 23 states and UTs.

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