Bhagwant Mann faces Twitter storm after seeking Rs 50,000 crore from PM
While some criticised Mann for not thinking about the exchequer when he was making lofty election promises, others claimed that the new chief minister had literally demanded 30% of the state’s budget as a package from the Centre.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann found himself at the receiving end on social media after he requested the Centre’s assistance worth Rs 50,000 crore on Thursday.
Following his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Mann told media persons that considering that the financial condition of the state was dire, Punjab needs support from the Centre.
He further said that during his meeting he sought Rs 50,000 crore package per year for the next two years to improve the state’s financial situation.
While some criticised Mann for not thinking about the exchequer when he was making lofty election promises like free electricity, Rs 1000 every month to women and offering free education, others claimed that the new chief minister had literally demanded 30% of the state’s budget as a package from Centre.
However, it is not surprising that AAP government is seeking Centre’s assistance. The Bhagwant Mann government has inherited a mammoth public debt of Rs 2.82 lakh crore. The Congress-led government and the SAD government before that did enough to land Punjab into the category of the most fiscally-stressed states.
According to some estimates, 20 per cent of the state’s annual budget is being spent only to pay the interest on earlier loans. The findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India show how the state’s debt is likely to reach Rs 3.7 lakh crore by 2024-25, thus further worsening the state’s financial situation.
Considering this, it is unlikely that Bhagwant Mann will be able to deliver on his promise of freebies for the people of the state anytime soon. Perhaps, good governance till then would suffice.