Bhubaneswar: Non-Odia bureaucrat turned politician Aparajira Sarangi found herself in a precarious position when it came to economic topics which is said to be not her domain specialization. Sarangi, who was critical on hike in the debt of the State Government, has been mum on the report of total liabilities under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government has increased 49 per cent to Rs. 82 lakh crore in the last four-and-half years.
Questioning on the Central Government’s debt management, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra asked, “why is Aparajita Sarangi mum on the Modi Government’s economic mismanagement and increasing public debt to Rs. 82,03,253 crore?”
Sarangi, who herself claims to be the honest, is not saying anything about her own government’s failure on economic front, the BJD leader wanted to know.
As per the 8th Edition of the Status Paper on Government Debt (till Sept 2018), the total debt of the Central government increased to Rs. 82,03,253 crore from Rs.54,90,763 crore in June 2014.
The huge surge in government's debt has been propelled by 51.7 per cent growth in public debt from Rs. 48 lakh crore to Rs. 73 lakh crore in the four-and-half year period, which in turn was driven by 54 per cent rise in internal debt to about Rs. 68 lakh crore.
Dependence on market loans shows a similar rise of 47.5 per cent to more than Rs. 52 lakh crore during the period. While debt raised through gold bonds was nil at the end of June 2014, it stood at Rs. 9,089 crore including the gold monetization scheme, the report said.
While the country's debt has been on the rise, little help is expected from the fiscal deficit side in the current financial year. As per the data, the fiscal deficit in the first eight months till November stands at Rs. 7.17 lakh crore, or 114.8 per cent of the Rs. 6.24 lakh crore full year's target.
Meanwhile, reacting to Sarangi’s concern about the spike in public debt in Odisha, Santosh Maharana, an economist says that the State’s fiscal deficit is within the stipulated cap of 15% of State GDP. There is no need of worry for the public debt, he added.
Odisha, which is on the path of rapid economic development and witnessed higher economic growth than national growth rate in recent past, need funds for industrialization and many other projects. So the public debt is bound to raise. As far as the debt fund is invested for economic growth, the State GDP will grow faster and the repayment capacity of the State would also be increased, he added.
When asked the opposition’s worry about public debt, Maharana said, “If farmers get assistant under KALIA and the productivity of the farmers raise, it’s good for farm sector. It is an investment that will further boost Odisha economy in long run. So there is absolutely no reasons to be panic or something like that, Maharana added.
Meanwhile, Aparajita Sarangi has declined to comment on liabilities of the Central Government, which has increased 49 per cent to Rs 82 lakh crore in the last four-and-half years during the Modi Government.
Aparajita indeed displayed poor economics while criticizing Odisha Government on public debt at a time when her own government failed measurably in economic front.