Union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Monday said the Akali-BJP government owed an explanation to the people of Punjab for the financial mess, with the state's total debt more than doubling during the past six years of the coalition's rule.
"It's astonishing and shameful that the state is not even able to make routine payments. These are all potent symptoms of bankruptcy and this government must explain why," the minister said in a statement issued here on Monday.
Tewari pointed out the total state debt, according to the government's own figures, was likely to cross Rs 1 lakh crore by the end of this fiscal (2013-14).
The minister said, "If the public sector undertakings' debts of Rs 55,000 crore and the Powercom debt of Rs 20,000 crore are added to this figure, it will touch Rs 1.75 lakh crore, which is not just alarming but a potential indicator of bankruptcy." He added that when the alliance took charge of the government in 2007, the total debt was about Rs 47,800 crore.