Refuting the allegation made by the Congress on borrowing of loans by the government, Power Minister Nilesh Cabral on Tuesday said that taking loans by the state is nothing new, and that the loans have been availed in abidance of Reserve Bank of India guidelines for capital expenditure to create infrastructure.
Addressing a press conference at his chamber in the presence of finance secretary Daulat Hawaldar, Cabral said, “The debt of over Rs 20,000 crore as quoted by Goa pradesh Congress committee Chief Girish Chodankar is not the correct figure. The actual figure on the loan is Rs 15,832 crore. All the loans have not been taken only by the Sawant government. They have been taken over many years by successive governments.”
The loans have been borrowed from the market as per RBI guidelines for capital expenditure, he clarified, adding that the figures deal with the budget size since 2004-2005 and loans that were taken by successive governments.
“When the mining sector had been booming in the state from 2004 to 2011 the governments that were in power had also borrowed loans. So, it is not right to blame the current government for borrowing loans,” he maintained.
According to him, in 2004-2005 total budget size was Rs 6,685.92 crore and the then government had availed a loan of Rs 698 crore, which was 18.9 per cent. In 2005-2006, the budget size was Rs 3,725 crore and the government had borrowed a loan of Rs 639 crore, which was 18.7 per cent.
In 2006-2007, the government had borrowed Rs 504 crore, which was 13.3 per cent of the budget size.
In 2007-2008, it was 11.4 per cent amounting to Rs 662 crore.
For 2008-2009, the percentage of loan was 14.1 per cent amounting to Rs 629 crore. In 2009-2010, loan was Rs 744 crore, which was 10.5 per cent of budget size.
In 2018-19, the budget size was Rs 17,123.28 crore and loan was availed by the government was Rs 2,526 crore, which was 14.7 per cent.
For the year 2019-2020, the budget size is Rs 19,548.69 crore and the government has availed a loan of Rs 1,000 crore till September which is 12 per cent.
“The RBI allows those states, which can pay back, to borrow loan. Our government has already paid Rs 2,000 crore loans, which had been taken by previous governments,” he explained, debunking the Congress claim that the state would collapse due to the financial crunch.
Hitting out at Chodankar for mocking the government on spending money on social schemes, the Power Minister said that annual outlay for social schemes is Rs 1,000 crore.
“Even Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-born economist, has termed spends on social schemes as social capital,” he said.
As regards the power department, he said that his department is pulling out all the stops to recover Rs 382-crore pending dues from the different consumers by March 2020.