Himachal Pradesh's loan liability by the end of this fiscal (2012-13) is likely to be over Rs.28,513 crore, and the government plans to fix it by cutting "wasteful expenditure", Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has said.
"We will improve the financial health of the state by
cutting wasteful expenditure," the chief minister told IANS.
He said the focus of the government in the next five years would be on education, health, infrastructure like roads and agriculture.
In his budget speech on Thursday, Virbhadra Singh told the assembly that the state's loan liability has increased by Rs. 7,272 crore in the past five years.
The loan dues, which were Rs. 21,241 crore in March 2008, are expected to be Rs. 28,513 crore in March this year, the chief minister said.
Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the salary burden on the state which was Rs. 2,615 crore in 2007-08 was increased to Rs. 6,956 crore in 2013-14.
Similarly, the pension burden has increased during this period from Rs.880 crore to Rs.2,839 crore and the interest payment burden from Rs. 1,778 crore to Rs. 2,431 crore.
The chief minister blamed implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations for impacting the finances of the state.
"A plan outlay of Rs. 22,800 crore for the 12th five year plan has been approved from the Planning Commission, which is an increase of 65 percent over the 11th plan period," he said.
Tourism as well as horticulture and hydropower generation are major contributors to Himachal Pradesh's economic development.
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