External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday quoted facts and figures to challenge Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of having ushered unparalleled development into Gujarat, accusing him instead of “profligacy and financial indiscipline”.
Addressing a press conference, Mukherjee noted that the Union government had transferred Rs 24,464 crore to Gujarat in the past four financial years, yet the state’s debt had increased during this very period from Rs 45,301 crore to Rs 95,000 crore. As much as 23.5 per cent of the total revenue receipts of the state had to be spent paying interest on this huge deficit.
At public rallies, Modi had lately been declaring that Gujarat paid Rs 40,000 crore worth in central taxes, but got only Rs 4,000 crore from the Centre in return. Mukherjee read the figures: Gujarat paid central taxes of Rs 2219 crore in 2003-4,
Rs 2270 crore in 2004-05, Rs 4301 crore in 2005-06 and Rs 5091 crore in 2006-07 — a far cry from the amount Modi had cited. “Statistics speak for themselves,” said Mukherjee.