GUWAHATI, June 3 - State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that the new Government at Dispur has inherited a committed outstanding liability of over Rs 10,000 crore (approx) from its predecessor.
This includes committed liabilities of Rs 1,359.29 crore of Chief Minister Special Packages and Rs 1,039 crore (till May 2016) of Public Works Department.
Sarma, while laying the �White Paper on Assam State Finances� on the floor of the State Assembly this afternoon, highlighted that the internal resource generation growth, which stood at 24 per cent in 2005-06, came down to a mere 1.39 per cent in 2014-15.
�The 1.39 per cent growth was the lowest in the history,� Sarma told the House. The situation, as per the White Paper, improved to 3.39 per cent (percentage increase over previous year),� he added.
The Minister, however, assured the House that the new Government will effect a turnaround within a few months. �We have taken it as a challenge. The thatched house that we have inherited will soon be improved substantially,� the minister said.
The Minister also said that compared to what the State had got during the last five years of Dr Manmohan Singh Government at the Centre, the Modi Government has already surpassed the rate of increase in just two years.
The White Paper also revealed that of the total budget of Rs 72,572.9 crore (Plan and non-Plan budget) in the year 2015-16, the State Government could spend only 49.80 per cent of it.
Sarma also commented that the State, in order to attract incentive grant of Rs 300 crore from the 13th Finance Commission during 2010-15, had projected itself as a revenue surplus State, but the strategy backfired, depriving itself of substantial amount of grants. �The strategy has backfired, resulting in revenue loss due to ineffective representation before the 14th Finance Commission,� Sarma said.
The new Government will move ahead with a focused motto and programme of �Restart Assam� in order to mop up maximum possible resources through a coordinated and concerted mission mode programme.
Reacting to the comments of Sarma, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said: �Mistakes might have taken place during our tenure. But one must also keep in mind that there was overdraft when the Congress Government came to power in 2001.�
Gogoi said that the State still has Rs 3,500 crore in the Reserve Bank of India.
Former PWD Minister Ajanta Neog also suggested the Finance Minister to pursue the oil royalty issue.