Urban development minister Sudhir Sharma said on Tuesday that the government was making efforts to bring back the state economy on track, which was left in precarious condition by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
Blaming the BJP for the financial crunch in the state, he said the state had been following the pay structure adopted by the Punjab government, based on the recommendations of the Punjab Pay Commission.
"The previous BJP government flouted the established norms to increase the pay scales of the government employees based on the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-committee of Punjab government, which were adopted by the Punjab government on the eve of their Vidhan Sabha elections, just for electoral gains," said Sharma, in a press statement issued here.
The enhanced pay structure was implemented by the BJP government in the state on the eve of state assembly elections (2012), causing the annual burden of over RS 1,200 crore, the liability of which was being discharged by the present government, added the urban development minister.
Sudhir said the situation had become alarmingly during the last two years as the non-plan revenue deficit grants during the financial year 2013-14 had declined to Rs 1,313 crore from Rs 1,883 crore in 2012-13 and would further reduce to Rs 406 crore in the financial year 2014-15.
The minister said as on March, 2008, the state government had a loan liability of Rs 21,241 crore, which had increased to Rs 28,707 crore on March, 2013. "Thus loan liability has increased by Rs 7,466 crore between March, 2008 and March, 2013. In fact, loan amounting to Rs 1,838 crore was converted into guarantee in the year 2009-10. Thus the actual loan taken between the period March, 2008 and March, 2013 was Rs 9,304 crore, while the loan liability increased only by Rs 8,032 crore during the period April, 2003 and March, 2008," he added.