GREEN SIGNAL TO AMEND PUNJAB FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND BUDGET MANAGEMENT ACT, 2003
Chandigarh, June 24-
The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday gave nod for tabling the White Paper on the Finances of the state in the house during the current session of the Vidhan Sabha.
Divulging the details, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that a decision to this effect was taken by the council of Ministers during its meeting chaired by the Chief Minister here at the Punjab Civil Secretariat-I.
The spokesperson said that the ‘White Paper’ on state’s finances is an attempt to simplify the complex issues being faced by the Punjab government and clearly apprising the common man of the present situation inherited by the incumbent Government. This white paper primarily contains four chapters that bring out historic patterns and present status of financial indicators, debt position and financial health of the state PSUs. The White Paper will also comment upon the possible way forward for the resurgence of fiscal health of the state.
The Cabinet also cleared the tabling of the Budget estimates for the year 2022-23 in the ongoing budget session of the Vidhan Sabha. The budget estimates have been prepared meticulously after due consultation with all the stakeholders including common citizens and others who gave their suggestions through emails, letters and direct communication. The Budget proposals have incorporated all the relevant fiscal indicators such as Revenue Receipts, Capital Receipts, Revenue Expenditure, Capital Expenditure, Revenue Deficit, Fiscal Deficit and Outstanding debt.
The Cabinet also accorded green signal for amending Section 4 in sub section 2 for clause (a) of the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003. This will help in availing the benefit of Normal Net Borrowing ceiling of 3.5% of the projected Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), extra borrowing ceiling equivalent to contribution under National Pension Scheme (NPS), carrying forward its unutilized borrowing out of the borrowing ceiling allowed for the previous years and availing 50 year interest free loan under scheme for special assistance to states for Capital Investment for 2022-23 during the current fiscal.
The Cabinet also cleared tabling CAG Audit Reports for the year 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21, Performance Audit of Efficacy of Implementation of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act 1992 (April 2015- March 2020), Performance Audit of Direct Benefit Transfer (Cash Transfer) (April 2017 to July 2020), Annual Technical Inspection Report on Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies for period April 2016 to March 2019, Performance Audit of Outcomes of Higher Education in Punjab (April 2015 to March 2020) and Finance Accounts, Appropriation Accounts for year 2019-20 and 2020-21 of Punjab government before Punjab Vidhan Sabha in current session.