HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Dhumal hits out at Virbhadra over poor fiscal health of state

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, August 27, 2014
First Published: 20:41 IST(27/8/2014) | Last Updated: 20:44 IST(27/8/2014)

Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Wednesday hit out at CM Virbhadra Singh over poor fiscal health of the state.

Dhumal also termed statements made by Congress ministers and leaders blaming previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for financial crunch as 'misleading'.

Dhumal's statement came a day after urban development minister Sudhir Sharma blamed the previous BJP government for financial crisis. “Congress government is just trying to cover up its failure and blaming others for bad financial condition of the state,” said Dhumal.

Dhumal also pointed out that the Congress government was advertising itself as 'well-wisher” of the government employees, but simultaneously have been accusing BJP for providing monetary benefits during their regime. “BJP had given monetary benefits to the employees, but the Congress government has been terming it “excess and burden” on the state,” said Dhumal, adding, “BJP government provided benefit of time scale (4-9-14) from 2004.”

Blaming the Congress for fiscal crunch in the state, Dhumal said the government was spending money in unplanned manner. “Government has burdened the state with 30-35 chairmen and vice chairmen. Normally expenditure incurred on chairmen and vice chairmen is over Rs. 4 lakh per month,” he said, adding, “The only job of these chairmen is to blame and accuse the previous BJP government for all ills.”

The former CM also slammed the government for misusing people's money, as despite empty coffers, it had allowed purchasing of luxury vehicles for chairmen and vice chairmen. “Vehicles were purchased even for pilot and escort purpose,” he said.

Dhumal said the Congress government was projecting itself of being “sensitive and concerned” about the state's financial health by constituting a resource mobilisation committee. “In contrary, in the same cabinet meeting, approval was accorded to purchase a vehicle for a chairman. It is an irony and unjustified that despite mismanagement, the government is blaming the previous regime for state's poor fiscal health,” he added.

Drawing a parallel between the BJP and the Congress regime, Dhumal said in BJP's five-year tenure, the government took a loan of Rs. 6672 crore, while the Congress during its tenure from 2003-2008 took a loan of Rs. 8032 crore. “And in the last 18 months, the government had already taken a loan of Rs. 4000 crore,” he added.

He said during the previous BJP government, there was no dearth of funds for the developmental works. “Fiscal benefits were given in time and installment of dearness allowance (DA) was immediately released soon after centre's announcement. But this government has failed to give the installment of DA even after 10 months,” Dhumal added.


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