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Six State Finance Ministers to meet PM on debt relief

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Nov. 25

MOUNTING debt burden has brought together six States to jointly pitch for a plea to get relief from the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

A meeting has been slated for November 30 in New Delhi when the Finance Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Punjab will represent their problems and views pertaining to the debt-servicing burden faced by them, according to the Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah.

They have also urged other States facing similar problems to come forward, he told newspersons.

AP, for instance, faces a huge debt burden of Rs 57,171 crore as of March 31, 2004.

To service this, Rs 8,443 crore has been set aside in the Budget for 2004-05, Mr Rosaiah said.

The huge debt burden was not only crippling the finances of the States, it was a major stumbling block in taking up developmental projects, Mr Rosaiah said.

The Southern States already discussed their case with Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, during a recent meeting in Bangalore.

As one of the relief measures, the AP Government has been urging the Centre to revive the oil pool reserve account to cushion the impact of the price fluctuations in petroleum products, the Finance Minister said.

The State Government has also apprised the Chairman of the 12th Financial Commission, Dr S. Rangarajan, about the financial situation and debt burden of the State, Mr Rosaiah said.

More Stories on : Economy | Andhra Pradesh

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