Spent Lavishly, But Left State in 'BIMARU' Condition: MP Finance Minister Hits Out at Shivraj Govt
Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot was referring to the Economic Survey that has put the state in 27th spot among 29 states in terms of poverty.
Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot at the Assembly on Wednesday. (PTI)
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Finance minister Tarun Bhanot on Wednesday alleged the Centre’s tax contribution to states had been shrinking over the last few years and this was primarily because of the botched-up implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Soon after presenting the Budget in the MP Assembly, Bhanot said, “Recently, finance ministers of various states had called on their Union counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi, many of them complained about the dwindling tax contribution from the Centre,” Bhanot said.
The minister said it was all because of the Centre’s faulty implementation of GST which led to revenue downfall in last the few years and states’ tax share also diminished accordingly. He said the reason behind imposition of cess on petrol and diesel was because of less allocation of funds by the Centre.
Replying to a query whether Rs 8,000 crore additional allocation of funds for farm loan waiver would be sufficient, the minister said the provision was besides the earlier allocation of Rs 5,000 crore. “We will arrange funds as and when needed,” he added.
When pointed out that he was talking about dwindling tax share from the Centre and still the budget provisioned an increase of around 18 to 20% in tax revenue generation, the minister said the state government was planning to restructure tax collection from sectors like transport, mining and excise. “We have raised bar licence renewal fee from 15 to 20% and introduced online auction for sand mining,” said the minister.
Referring to the Economic Survey that has put the state in 27th spot among 29 states in terms of poverty, Bhanot hit out at previous BJP government that claimed to have taken the state out of the BIMARU (sick) list.
The minister also slammed the former Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for taking unnecessary loans, especially after 2012. “Kharcha khoob hua, par BIMARU banakar chhora (they spent lavishly, but left the state in a BIMARU condition).”
Asked to specify whether he meant that MP was a sick state, he refused to delve further. Present with Bhanot, Public Relations Minister PC Sharma said though the BJP had left the state in a BIMARU form, the Congress government would soon transform it. Soon after, Bhanot asked reporters to focus on ‘relevant Budget questions’ and have a chat with the PR minister later.
Asked about outstanding dues of the state government, a senior government officer said as on March 31, 2018, the state had liabilities worth Rs 1,52,745 crore, while it expected the figure to rise to Rs 1.80 lakh crore by March 31, 2019.
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