Punjab excise collections have increased by a whopping 37% in the past financial year, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has told Governor Banwarilal Purohit, detailing the sustained growth in revenue under the AAP government.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections have increased 16.6%, vehicle tax collection 13%, stamps and registration collection 28%, Mr Mann said in a letter to Mr Purohit on Tuesday.
The letter was in response to the Governor seeking details about of the utilisation of the Rs 50,000 crore funds the state government had borrowed.
From April 1, 2002 till August 31, 2023, Punjab’s debt increased by 47,107 crore, the letter said. A major part of that, Rs 27,016 crore, went towards interest repayment for inherited debt.
“During my tenure as Chief Minister of Punjab, lingering issues left behind by previous governments were dealt on priority…We used both debt and our own revenue resources to fund organisations/schemes ignored by my predecessors, utilised the new debt to create capital assets and undertake development activities in the State,” Mr Mann said.
At the same time, employment was provided to over 36,000 youth in the state, he added.
Mr Mann requested the Governor to convince the centre to release the pending Rural Development Fund of Rs 5,637 crore and temporarily stop debt repayments for at least five years.
“This will provide much needed relief to the strained financial position of the State and would give some fiscal elbow room to your government to accelerate the growth of revenue and the pace of development,” said Mr Mann.