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Punjab budget: Expert fears state might enter debt trap soon

BY , Jun 29, 2022 2:19 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema (Photo : ANI)

After the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government presented its first budget in Punjab with the announcement of no new tax and free electricity from July 1, an economic expert believes that this will push the state into a debt trap in near future.

Dr Suvrokamal Dutta, an economic and foreign policy expert, highlighted the budget is well packaged with sugar-coated words in it with loads of thoughts for daydreaming. "When analysed in-depth the focus seems to be directionless and confusing in the budget.

The state has an overall debt of almost Rs 2.85 lakh crores and the government is totally clueless about how to overcome this," he added.

Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Monday announced providing 300 units of free electricity to households from July 1, setting up 117 Mohalla Clinics and upgrading 100 schools as 'schools of eminence' in the state among other proposals.

Dutta also criticized the state government's decision of providing free electricity of 300 units to each household. "In such a situation when the state is already overburdened with huge financial debt, free electricity will only worsen the situation further.

It will further burden the state exchequer and deepen the financial crisis further." He also opined that the level of financial debt which the state has cannot be mitigated only through GST collection.

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