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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Loan on Punjab of Central Government

For the new elected Government of Punjab in March 2022, the major problem is to pay the loan of over 3 lakh crore. It is one lakh debt on every Punjabi. When Congress was voted to power in March 2017 after 10-years-rule of the SAD-BJP coalition Government, it had also taken on the legacy of Rs. 1.82 lakh crore outstanding debt. In 1997, Prime Minister IK Gujral wrote off the outstanding Rs 8500 crore debt that Punjab had accumulated since 1984. Who will pay this loan? People are not responsible to pay because they did nothing wrong. Why was this money not used properly for the welfare of the people? Where did this huge amount go? Perhaps this money has been misused. Why did the political leaders not use the money efficiently and at the proper place? These are the common questions in the minds of people. Now we have to decide whether people should pay or only politicians should pay. In case we do not decide, then people have to pay in the form of different taxes.

In 1970, Centre Government decided to give Chandigarh to Punjab and Haryana would get Rs.10 crore as grant and 10 crore as loan for building new capital. Had this decision been matured then there would have been no loan on Punjab. Perhaps the Centre behaves in a different way with Punjab as compared to other states. In India, all states were formed on the basis of languages and water dispute was solved on riparian law. UP and Rajasthan are quiet big states and there is a Jat population adjoining to Haryana state. Some areas of UP and Rajasthan may be given to Haryana. Ambala, Panipat , and other Punjabi speaking areas may be given to Punjab. Sufficient grant should be given to Haryana to develop its own capital at suitable place.

Loan on Punjab in 1980 was nil, in 1997 it was Rs. 85000 crore, it increased to 1.82 lakh crore in 2017, and in 2022 it further increased to over 3 lakh crore. Every year interest is added in debt of Punjab ( interest rate is 8 percent per annum ) . Now the Chief Minister of Punjab asked the Centre Government to decrease the interest. Every year, a big amount of interest ( 24000 crore ) is added to the loan. It is a very serious matter and we must take it seriously to solve this problem.

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