Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha and former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the budget presented by the finance minister in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha was a “statement of admission of fiscal failure and incompetence” of the SAD-BJP government in the state.
“Not that anybody had expected any miracles from this budget, but this would be so disappointing was beyond imagination,” he remarked while reacting to the budget here on Wednesday.
He also lashed out at chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for staying away from the crucial budget presentation in the Vidhan Sabha saying that only reflected his lack of sincerity and seriousness to the state.
Referring to the mounting debt, which is estimated to be Rs 1,13,053 crore by the end of the current fiscal, the former chief minister said this was quite worrying as the government seemed to be neither sincere nor serious about taking any curative and corrective measures.
He ridiculed the statement of the finance minister that sought to take pride in the meagre annual growth rate of 5.25% when states like Bihar and Gujarat had crossed 12% growth rate.
The former chief minister said while the government had admitted that the state had not been able to fully achieve targets of revenue deficit set out in the fiscal consolidation path recommended by the 13th Finance Commission, it had neither done anything nor had it suggested to do anything about it.
He said the revenue deficit had multiplied three times against the government estimates. He said that last year the state had estimated a revenue deficit of Rs 1,750 crore while it actually went up to Rs 5,242 crore.