Prem Kumar Dhumal, the Chief Minister kept his demand of 69,377 crores before the visiting 13th Finance Commission to the State for the various innovative programs envisioned for the state in coming years. He was addressing the 13th Finance Commission which is on a four day visit to the state.
He said that the â€˜Special Category Status’ was granted to Himachal Pradesh for its special needs as the state was dependent upon the dispensations of the Finance Commission while urging the Finance Commission to bridge the gap between Special Category States and the fiscally strong states of the country. Pointing out towards various handicaps and topographical constraints, the hardships and the overall development plus the various milestone achievements, he further said that to sustain the achievements, the Commission needed to adopt liberal attitude towards the genuine demands of the state. He also said that the state was under heavy per capita fiscal deficit of 26,860 crores which requires to be cleared with the help from the 13th Finance Commission Award to achieve the optimal national norm of debt to Gross State Domestic Product ratio of 28 percent.
Chief Minister said that the State’s revenue receipts had traditionally been dependant upon central transfers, ranging from 60 percent to 71 percent while the same had increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 percent during the years 2002-03 when at 4.87 percent it further asking the Commission to allocate 12 per cent free power royalty from hydel projects commissioner before 7th September, 1990, the arrear of which amounts to over 5,000 crores. Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Chairman, 13th Finance Commission, detailed the objectives of the Commission and congratulated the government for effective implementation of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) registering reduction in revenue deficit and fiscal deficit at the Central Level.