BHUBANESWAR: The debt burden on the State has reached a staggering Rs 38,666 crore by the end of 2013-14 while the per capita debt remains at a high of Rs 8,909. Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat informed this to the Members in the Assembly in a written reply to a question from Dr Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik (BJD).
He said the per capita debt burden of the State has considerably gone down during the last seven years while total borrowing has increased marginally. He said while the population of the State was 4.01 crore in 2007-08, the total borrowing was Rs 36,311.61 crore and the per capita debt was Rs 9,064. The total borrowing has marginally increased to Rs 36,430.54 crore in the following year while the debt burden per head reduced to Rs 8,975, he said.
The Finance Minister maintained that borrowing of the State increased to Rs 37,730.04 crore during 2009-10 as a result of which the per capita debt burden increased to Rs 9,174 while the population was 4.11 crore at that time. During 2010-11, the population of the State increased to 4.17 crore while borrowing touched Rs 39,136.91 crore and per capita debt burden rose to Rs 9,392. Amat said the debt burden reduced to Rs 37,980.14 crore in the following year and the per capita debt burden went down to Rs 8,874.
However, during 2013-14, borrowing increased to Rs 38,666. 24 crore with the rise in population to 4.34 crore and the per capita debt burden rose to Rs 8,909. The Finance Minister, however, said the borrowing of the State by the end of 2013-14 remained below the permissible limit. Stating reasons behind the growing debt burden, he said the State Government is not resorting to unnecessary borrowing. It has paid loans having higher interest rates, he added. Besides, the State has been exempted from paying Rs 1,909.5 crore towards loan repayment from the Central Government for its fiscal accountability and successful implementation of Budget Management Act, 2005 from 2005-06 to 2009-10, he said.