Aizawl: The Congress party in Mizoram has intensified its attack on the Mizo National Front (MNF) government, accusing it of elevating Mizoram to the top of the debt list among Indian states and employing misleading parameters to present the situation.
Congress legislator Zodintluanga cited the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India, revealing that Mizoram’s debt stands at 56.7 percent of its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) ratio, making it the highest among all Indian states.
Zodintluanga explained that although their estimated debt is at 53.1 percent of GSDP, it might surpass the target considering the current rate of debt accumulation.
He emphasised the need to understand that state debts are calculated based on their GSDP ratios. This means that while Mizoram might have a smaller absolute debt compared to larger states, its debt becomes more burdensome when measured against the GSDP ratio.
To illustrate, Zodintluanga offered a comparison: “One person with an annual income of Rs 10 lakh has a debt of Rs 10,000, and another person with an annual income of Rs 10,000 has a debt of Rs 10. Whose debt is more burdensome?”
Zodintluanga said they do not advocate a blanket opposition to all forms of debt, as even large and developed nations carry debt burdens.
“What truly matters is how we utilise these loans for the advancement of our society. When we examine the state of development in Mizoram, despite having the highest percentage of debt, it becomes disheartening,” he said
He said a significant portion of the money in circulation appears to be concentrated among a select few, while the majority of our citizens struggle to make ends meet and face difficulties in meeting their healthcare expenses.
“Taking a close look at the latest report from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), we find that Mizoram allocated 83.28 percent of its loans to clear previous debts, leaving only 17.72 percent for other essential purposes. This allocation reflects the mismanagement of finances by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who is responsible for the state’s fiscal affairs,” he said.
It appears that his approach involves securing loans from various sources primarily to clear past debts. To obscure his financial mismanagement, he resorts to misleading metrics to portray Mizoram as having one of the lowest debt levels among Indian states, he said.