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Chandigarh, March 26, 2013
Punjab Congress on Tuesday appealed to governor Shivraj Patil to initiate an inquiry into the state's "burgeoning" debt and direct the SAD-BJP government to observe "fiscal propriety" in the wake of "poor" fiscal health. In a letter written to the governor, CLP leader Sunil Jakhar pointed out that Punjab had been facing "deteriorating" fiscal condition under the SAD-BJP regime.

As per mandate of the Punjab Revenue Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Bill, he said, the revenue deficit as percentage of gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the year 2012-13 should be below 1.2 per cent.

"But in gross violation of norms, the revenue deficit has reached 1.61 per cent of the GSDP. Last year too, these limits relating to revenue as well as fiscal deficits were violated, which had resulted in the state not being able to avail grant worth nearly Rs. 500 crore from the Central government," he said.

Jakhar also accused the SAD-BJP government of pursuing wrong economic policies which led to the state facing accumulated loans of Rs. 38,019 crore.

"In the same period, the public sector has accumulated a debt of Rs. 69,270 crore which has been guaranteed by the state government. By the end of 2013-14, aggregate debt burden of Punjab will be Rs. 1.90 lakh crore," he wrote.