Haryana's financial position better than Punjab, Rajasthan: Khattar

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Chandigarh, Mar 16 (PTI) Making a comparison with Congress-ruled Punjab and Rajasthan, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday claimed that the financial position of Haryana was far better than the neighbouring states.

Responding to a debate on the state Budget in the Assembly, Khattar said though the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted revenue collections yet his government met the committed liabilities like payment of salaries, pension and interest.

Khattar said the focus of the state Budget was on farming and irrigation and asserted that the proposals will be implemented without any discrimination. The Haryana CM dedicated the state Budget to farmers.

Sharing data related to the fiscal parameters, Khattar said the state's debt as percentage of gross state domestic product (GSDP) was 20.25 per cent for the year 2020-21 in comparison to 41.69 per cent of Punjab and 42.70 per cent of Rajasthan.

Haryana's revenue deficit was 1.67 per cent while revenue deficit of Punjab and Rajasthan was 3.42 per cent and 4.36 per cent, respectively, he said, adding that his government's effort will be to bring it down to less than one per cent.

The state's fiscal deficit was 2.90 per cent as compared to 4.69 per cent of Punjab and 6.12 per cent of Rajasthan for the year 2020-21, he said.

The Haryana CM said the state's GSDP at current prices would be 7.64 lakh crore for current fiscal and 8.87 lakh crore for the next fiscal.

The chief minister said that despite COVID-19, his government had been able to maintain the norms of fiscal responsibility and finance management and was in a far better position than neighbouring states of Punjab and Rajasthan.

On the issue of opposition's claims of rising debt, Khattar said the state's debt doubles every five years.

Khattar said the Budget was meant for the entire state while reiterating that his government would carry out development activities without any bias.

He said the Budget estimates for 2021-22 have been prepared with great sensitivity keeping in mind the people of the entire state.

The CM, who also holds the finance portfolio, said Rs 5,052 crore was earmarked for the agriculture sector in the previous budget, which has been increased to Rs 6,111 crore for the year 2021-22, a hike of 20.9 per cent.

He said members of the Opposition are talking about reduction in Budget allocation to the agricultural sector, while the reality is that it has been increased.

Similarly, the previous year's budget estimates for irrigation were Rs 2,892 crore, whereas Budget estimates for 2021-22 have been increased to Rs 5,081 crore, with an increase of 75 per cent. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK