Gujarat’s public debt crosses Rs 3 trillion; amount within norms

NEW DELHI: Gujarat’s public debt stood at Rs 3,00,963 crore as per the revised estimates of 2020-21, the state Assembly was informed on Tuesday.

The information was given by state Finance Minister Kanu Desai in response to a written query raised by Congress MLA Punja Vansh during Question Hour.

In a written reply to a sub-question about interest paid on loans taken in the last two years, Desai said the state had paid Rs 20,293 crore as interest and Rs 16,701 crore as principal amount in 2019-20, while in 2020-21, interest paid stood at Rs 22,099 crore and the principal was Rs 17,918 crore.

During the discussion, Congress MLA Vansh claimed 10 per cent of the budget was going into paying interest on loans taken by the state and asked the minister why debts were spiralling with each passing year.

However, Desai replied that the state debt was well within the prescribed limits, adding that, as per the present debt-to-GDP ratio, the state government can bear a debt of Rs 4,50,000 crore.

“The debt of a state is an indicator of development. Our debt is nearly 21 per cent of the state GDP, which is well within the prescribed limits. The Congress-led Punjab’s debt-to-GDP ratio is nearly 53 per cent. Our debt is increasing because we are spending on developmental works, such as Sardar Sarovar project,” Desai told the House.

Source: Press Trust of India

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