Himachal Assembly amends FRBM Act


By: ML Verma

Shimla (March 30): Himachal Pradesh Assembly today approved amendment in Himachal Pradesh Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2005 in order to meet the requirement of the 13th Finance Commission.

Presenting HP FRBM (Amendment) Bill-2011 to amend HPFRBM Act-2005 for discussion after Question Hour in the House today, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that the 13th Finance Commission report was tabled in Parliament on February 25, 2010, which was accepted by the government of India.

He said that the 13th FC recommended in the report those state-specific grants and certain others benefits should be released on the conditions that such state much enact or amend their FRBM Acts.

It recommended imposing the condition that an independent mechanism should be set up to review and monitor the ‘fiscal reform path’ set out under FRBM Act. The Chief Minister said that the report had made provisions to eliminate revenue deficit by financial year 2011-12 and maintain revenue surplus thereafter.

It also suggested to reduce fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent or less of Gross State Domestic Product by FY 2010-11, 3 pc or less of the GSDP by FY 2011-12 and maintain fiscal deficit at the level of 3 pc or less of GSDP thereafter.

The recommendations also proposed to reduce outstanding debt of state to 49.7 pc, 47 pc, 44.4 pc, 42.1 pc and 40.1 pc of GSDP by FYs, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively. The bill was tabled in the Assembly by Dhumal yesterday which came up for discussion today.

The Speaker presented the Bill to adopt it the House, which was approved without discussion by voice-vote incorporating three clauses to amend section 5 and 7 of the HPFRBM Act-2005.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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