The Governor of Rajasthan Kalraj Mishra has pressed the panic button saying that Rajasthan is passing through economic emergency and the state has come under the most sick and indebted state in the country.
The debt on Rajasthan has gone up by more than 94% from 2019 till date, Governor of Rajasthan Kalraj Mishra said in his address to assembly.
He said that the debt has risen from ₹ 3.39 lakh crore to ₹5.59 lakh crore from 2019 till date.
“RBI report says that the per capital debt increased by more than 82% ₹38,782 crore to 70,848 crore,” he said.
A study by RBI last year found Rajasthan among worst performing states in terms of fiscal prudence.
The RBI data shows that the state's debt is likely to touch 36.8% of the total GDP as per 2023-24 budget estimates, which is an alarming situation. In last 10 years, the state debt has never been less than 30% of the state GDP except in the fiscal 2014-15, when it was 15%. In last two years government has spent excessively on freebies and welfare schemes putting unprecedented burden on state finances which is already in shambles.
Indiscriminate announcement of welfare schemes
The Governor said that pitiable economic condition of state is probably due to indiscriminate launch of welfare schemes.
“Though public schemes will not be closed. But the government will review them. And after proper review these schemes will be extended in new form and budget,” the Governor said.
Kalraj Mishra said the state government will set up Rajasthan Economic Revival Task Force for economic empowerment of the state. This will also enable ease of doing business environment in the state.
The Governor also expressed concern over mounting losses in discom operations.
He said the previous BJP government had waiver off a loan of Rs 70,000 crore of discoms and these have started economically well.
“But due to deep corruption and mismanagement the debt on discoms has crossed ₹ one lakh crore level. Irregularities in power purchase, costly import of coal and high cost coal loading put a heavy financial burden on state's economy.
“The state will increase its dependence on renewable energy to make state reliant in energy,” the Governor said.
Soon after coming into power the newly elected BJP government has suspended all economic activities in the state. It has frozen all expenditures and has asked departments to stall contracts and ongoing projects. There is a ban on releasing tenders also.