Explained: what will cost the Punjab “1000 Rs to all the women” of the AAP

On Monday, at the launch of the Aam Aadmi party’s “Punjab Mission” for the 2022 Assembly polls, national organizer Arvind Kejriwal announced that if elected to power, AAP will transfer Rs 1,000 per month on the account of every woman in Punjab aged 18 or over. Kejriwal’s announcement to Moga, giveaways promised by other parties, subsidies and populist agendas from successive governments arrive in a state crumbling in debt.

What will it cost

According to the Election Commission of India, there were 96.19 lakh female voters in Punjab in the 2019 elections in Lok Sabha. The electoral list for 2022 has not yet been released; The AAP estimated that the program could benefit women 1 crore. If the AAP forms the government and implements the pledge, paying Rs 1,000 crore per month to around 1 crore women would translate into Rs 12,000 crore per year.

Kejriwal noted that his opponents would ask where the money would come from to fund the program. He said “there is no shortage of money with any government, all that is required is the intention to work for the people”.

Arvind Kejriwal in Bathinda

Punjab’s debt situation

When the Congressional government took power in March 2017, it inherited a debt of Rs 1.82 lakh crore from the SAD-BJP government which had ruled for 10 years. Budget estimates for 2021-22 predict that the outstanding debt will reach nearly Rs 2.82 lakh crore. This effectively becomes Rs 2.73 lakh crore after factoring in the Rs 8,359 crore received as back-to-back loans instead of GST compensation in 2020-2021.

In 2019-2020, the outstanding amount had reached Rs 2.29 lakh crore. In the 2020-21 budget estimates, it was expected to reach Rs 2.48 lakh crore, which rose to Rs 2.61 lakh crore in the revised estimates (effective Rs 2.52 lakh crore).

The actual outstanding debt in 2019-2020 was 39.90% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) of Rs 5.74 lakh crore. For 2021-22, this is 45% of the projected GSDP of Rs 6.07 lakh crore.

Punjab’s total revenue is estimated at Rs 1.62 lakh crore for the current fiscal year, compared to Rs 1.32 lakh crore in 2019-2020. Total expenses are estimated at Rs 1.68 lakh crore by the end of this fiscal year, against Rs 1.34 lakh crore in 2019-2020. An amount of Rs 38,000 crore, which includes Rs 20,000 crore as interest payment and Rs 18,000 crore as debt repayment excluding ways and means advances, should be spent on total debt service. in the budget estimates for the current year. The corresponding figure was Rs 30,000 crore in 2019-2020.

Subsidies, populist regimes

In budget estimates for 2021-2022, due to energy subsidies given to farmers, various categories of industries and members of the Dalit community, government contributions to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) were expected to reach 10,621 Rupee crores, compared to rupee 9,394 crore in 2019-2020.

Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi having announced a reduction in electricity tariffs for domestic consumers earlier this month by Rs 3 on three slabs with loads of up to 7 KW, there will be an additional load of more of Rs 3,300 crore on the chessboard.

Earlier this month, Channi also announced a VAT reduction of Rs 10 on gasoline and Rs 5 on diesel, which is expected to cost the treasury nearly Rs 3,300 crore per year, on top of that. of the annual cost of Rs 850 crore due to the reduction in excise duty. by the Center.

In addition, some of the “major new initiatives” in the “Punjab Budget at a Glance 2021-22” include free electricity for farmers at a cost of Rs 7,140 crore, doubling the monthly social security pension. from Rs 750 per month to Rs 1,500 per month. with effect from July 1 at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore, and the “Har Ghar Paani, Har Ghar Safai” program with an expenditure of Rs 2,148 crore.

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