Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday said the government will come out with a white paper on the state’s finances and alleged that there was “systematic loot” of resources during the SAD-BJP rule.
The Capt Amarinder Singh-led government will take some important decisions in its first cabinet meeting on Saturday, he said after assuming office . For the meeting, the state government has prepared a 150-point agenda pertaining to reforms in governance, economic reforms and eliminating VIP culture among others, Manpreet said.
The main objectives of the new government would be to streamline expenditure, bring down revenue deficit and raise additional resources to put the state’s fiscal situation on track, the newly-inducted minister said.
On his party accusing the SAD-BJP of “mismanaging” state finances, Manpreet, the estranged nephew of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, said the present dispensation will come out with a white paper on it. “I have already asked officials to prepare it on the state’s finance that we have inherited,” he said.
The minister said the state will have a special audit of government expenditure in the last three years. “We will be going for a third party audit of government expenses. A lot of work was undertaken without administrative or financial approvals,” he said. A special audit of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited will be done too.
In the wake of the Congress’s poll promise to waive agricultural debt in Punjab, he said the government will set up a committee of experts to assess the quantum of farm debt in the state. “We are yet to assess institutional debt, outstanding farm loans of cooperative banks and arhtiyas (private lenders), and how much of it is farm debt,” he said.