Shimla, Sep 26 : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday urged the Finance Commission for a fair assessment of the state's revenue receipts and expenditure in view of its tough topographical conditions.
Raising the issue with the 15th Finance Commission, the Chief Minister said the state's topography was difficult and hence the construction and maintenance cost of capital assets like roads, health and educational institutions, irrigation and water supply schemes and electrification was high.
He said that the requirement of public institutions in the hills was higher compared with the plains.
Thakur said that as compared with the all-India average of one health sub-centre for four villages covering a population of 5,624, the state had one health sub-centre for 10 villages covering a population of only 2,987.
The Chief Minister said that about 87 per cent of the Himachal farmers are marginal or small whereas only 20.5 per cent net area is irrigated compared with the national average of 46 per cent.
An official statement quoting the Chief Minister said that the average yield per unit area is much less than the national average.
Thakur said that Himachal was a revenue-deficit state and had to depend on loans to fund developmental work.
He said that the state has been prudent in its borrowings and that cash flow management has helped its debt to gross state domestic product ratio, which has declined from 63 per cent in 2007-08 to 35 per cent in 2016-17.
He said that due to this the state is left with little resources for investment in the social and economic sectors after repaying the debt.
Finance Commission Chairman N.K.
Singh assured that the panel would sympathetically consider the issues raised by the state while allocating funds.