Bhopal: Despite political stability and claims of developing Madhya Pradesh, the 15th Finance Commission report says that the state has slipped in growth and human indices over the years and the state has lost Rs 9,557 crore due to delay in 242 projects.
The cost of the projects related to Water Resources Department, Public Works Department and Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) was exceeded by Rs 4,800 crore.
The government has to face a loss of Rs 4,857 crore due to cost of loan taken by it and returns of PSUS. The cost of loan, along with the loan advance, has also caused a loss of Rs 1,712 crore, said Finance Commission report.
NK Singh, bureaucrat-turned-BJP leader, who now heads the Finance Commission, painted a grim picture of the state during a meeting with Chief Minister Kamal Nath to discuss the finances of the state on Thursday in Bhopal.
The BJP was in power for last 15 years in the state, but lost the Assembly elections held in November 2018. During the election campaign, the party had been citing ‘prosperous Madhya Pradesh’ – implying that the BJP-led government had succeeded in making all the basic facilities available to the public in the last 15 years. However, the Finance Commission report now speaks otherwise.
During the meeting, Finance Commission expressed its concern regarding several issues. The state government has been ranked 21 in overall performance of 29 states across the country.
Poverty in MP
Without naming the BJP government, which ruled the state for 15 years, Singh told the media that the state had “political stability for years and there was good governance. The state earned fame for some good work in agriculture… Despite the agriculture growth, its impact on the per capita was limited.”
“The per-capita income of MP is Rs 90,998, which is not only lower than the national average of Rs 1.26 lakh, but also lower than some of the developing states in the country,” Singh explained.
Besides, Singh said, the poverty ratio in the state is 33% while the national average is 21% — implying that every third person in the state is poor. The state needs to improve its growth rate to improve its poverty ratio and per capita income, he said.
Singh while referring to the poor human development index, said that the agriculture growth rate hadn’t reflected in the infant mortality rate (IMR), maternal mortality rate (MMR), stunting and anaemia (factors indicating malnutrition). “This is criteria of development and sustainable development goals. Development in MP did not reflect in these indices,” he said.
The state also needs to do a lot in the energy sector, Singh said. “Transmission and distribution losses are on the higher side in the state and not in consonance with the Ujjwal scheme, the commission chief added.