16th Finance Commission visit Punjab on July 22-23; CM Mann leads strategy meetings on Fiscal relief agenda

Punjab gears up for 16th Finance Commission visit; CM Mann convenes officials' meeting. Previously, CM and Finance Minister met ex-economic advisor Arvinder Subramaniam to seek financial advice.

Punjab, India, 16th Finance Commission, Punjab visit, Arvind Panagariya, Fiscal relief, State finances, Economic strategy, Bhagwant Mann, Harpal Cheema, Financial grants, GST impact- True Scoop

The 16th Finance Commission is coming on a visit to Punjab on July 22 and 23. This commission, headed by former economic advisor Arvind Panagariya, is on a tour of various states these days and will visit Punjab on July 22 and 23. While presenting its financial position before the commission, the state government wants to ask for the same kind of relief as was given by the 15th Finance Commission.

Preparations are being made for this, and this week Punjab's Principal Secretary of Finance, Ajoy Kumar Sinha, will prepare the primary agenda by meeting with the officials of various departments to discuss it. A meeting will be held on July 16 under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Finance Minister Harpal Cheema, and the agenda to be placed before the commission will be discussed. A senior official of Punjab has confirmed this and said that the team of the Finance Department is busy preparing the internal agenda

If Punjab does not get major relief from the Finance Commission in the current economic situation, then it can face big difficulties. Especially the interest and subsidy on the increasing loan are going out of control, due to which the gap between income and expenditure is increasing. To meet this, the Punjab government can demand a fiscal grant from the commission on the lines of the 15th Commission. It is worth noting that the last

Finance Commission gave a grant of Rs 25 thousand crore to Punjab for five years.

A senior official of the then government said that we could not make good use of that grant, and instead of spending most of the grant on building infrastructure and resolving our dire situations, we wasted it on distributing subsidies. He said that due to this grant, we could take fewer loans in the previous years, and this was done in 2020–21 and 2021–22, but in the next two years, we made up for all that shortfall.

Conflict is going on over schemes like Arogya Mandir.

The Punjab government is also worried that the way the conflict is going on between the Center and the state over schemes like the Rural Development Fund, PM Shri Yojana, and Arogya Mandir, the Finance Commission may recommend a cut in our grants. Recently, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Finance Minister Harpal Cheema met with another former economic advisor, Arvinder Subramanian, and sought his cooperation to fix the financial situation.

The government's income will increase by increasing taxes.

Punjab is going to put forth before the 16th Finance Commission that after the implementation of GST, all the sources of income have gone to the central government. Punjab used to get a huge income from various taxes. Now the state does not have any sector in which the government can increase its revenue by increasing taxes. States have become completely dependent on central schemes. If there are opposition parties in the state, then they are not even being given the money meant for schemes.