Shimla: Not having participated in the 2014-15 budget debates, the session which ended today, leader of opposition Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal expressed concern over the state’s economy saying a year of Congress rule had shattered the economy of Himachal Pradesh.
Irrationally announcing opening of colleges and opening of sub-divisions was a recipe for adding to the fiscal distress that the state was going through, he said talking to reporters in the opposition lounge.
With the accumulate state debt expected to touch Rs 31800 crore by end of 2013-14, Mr Dhumal referring to Fiscal Management Responsibility and Budget Management (FMRBM) papers presented in the Vidhan Sabha said that fiscal deficit for 2013-14 at minus 4.85 % was expected to further deteriorate to minus 5.74 % of Gross State Domestic Product, which was way beyond what FMRBM permitted.
Need of the hour was for consolidation in education and health sectors where the emphasis should have been on quality improvements rather than increase in quantity but who can question the governments wisdom, he lamented.
The state was confronted with a grave situation and there were years of disaster ahead for Himachal, said Mr Dhumal.
About the World Bank funded clean and green Himachal Campaign, for which a Rs 1000 Cr fund had been granted to the state on a 90:10 ratio as center and state loan, Mr Dhumal said that states environment condition had deteriorated.
“Usage of polythene bags are back in usage, smoking in public is on the rise and vehicular pollution is going unchecked,” he said.
About the deadlock in the HP Vidhan Sabha, the leader of opposition said that neither Speaker Brij Bihari Butail or the parliamentary affairs minister Mukesh Agnihotri made any serious effort to break the logjam to run the house.
Earlier state BJP president Satpal Satti announced that unless the chief minister Mr Virbhadra Singh regretted for his behavior towards opposition members, the party had decided to boycott him at official or public functions.
Outside the house, led by Mr Dhumal, the BJP legislative party also held protest demonstration, which included slogan shouting, skit performances and singing chorus songs targeting the chief minister and ridiculing the Congress government.
Photo: Ravinder Makhaik