Himachal’s fiscal liabilities increased to Rs 41,197 crore: CAG

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Shimla, March 31 (IANS) The overall fiscal liabilities of Himachal Pradesh increased to Rs 41,197 crore in 2015-16 with a growth of eight per cent over the previous year, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said on Friday.

Presenting a grim picture of the state’s financial health, it said the liabilities stood at 37 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and 176 per cent of the revenue receipts.

“The share of closing balance of market loans in the total public debt increased from 59 per cent in 2014-15 to 60 per cent in 2015-16,” said the auditor in its report tabled in the assembly.

The state is required to pay 62 per cent debt within seven years, which is not a very comfortable position and could lead to a “debt trap”, it said.

During 2015-16, 32 per cent of the borrowings were used for repayment of earlier debts, defeating the objectives of the loans, it said.

The auditor said the state’s per capita debt had shown an increasing trend from Rs 40,904 in 2011-12 to Rs 57,642 during 2015-16, an increase of 41 per cent in five years.

The per capita debt increased by Rs 3,729 (seven percent) in 2015-16 (Rs 57,642) over the previous year (Rs 53,913).

The state’s GSDP in 2015-16 at current prices was Rs 110,511 crore. Its literacy rate increased from 76.50 per cent (2001 census) to 82.80 per cent (2011 census). The per capita income of the state stands at Rs 130,067 in 2015-16.

The CAG also picked holes in the delay in furnishing utilisation certificates.

There were delays in furnishing 2,944 utilisation certificates is respect of loans and grants amounting to Rs 2,225.40 crore till March 31, 2016.

The auditor pointed out that the state gave less priority to capital expenditure.

“The priority has not been given by the state to the capital expenditure as the percentage ratio of capital expenditure to aggregate expenditure is 10.88 in 2014-15 and 11.17 in 2015-16, which is lower than the average ratio of special category states 15.27 in 2014-15 and 13.95 in 2015-16,” it said.

–IANS

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