Himachal Pradesh govt to probe land deals: Virbhadra Singh

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SummaryDebt liability had increased from Rs 21,241 cr on Mar 31, 2008 to Rs 26,650 cr on Dec 31, 2012: Singh

Himachal Pradesh government will order an inquiry into alleged largescale irregularities in land deals and benami transactions during past five years of BJP rule, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh announced in the state Assembly on Friday.

Winding up a debate on Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Address, Singh said, "Members have raised the issue of irregularities in land deals and benami land deals on a large scale during the five years and I assure them that all such irregularities would be probed speedily."

On references made by Leader of the Opposition P K Dhumal regarding the loans raised by previous BJP government, Singh clarified that the debt liability of the state had increased from Rs 21,241 crore on March 31, 2008 to Rs 26,650 crore on December 31, 2012 and the increase during past five years was Rs 7,409 crore.

Further, the HPIDB converted a loan of Rs 1,838 crore into guarantee in 2009-10 and the actual loan raised during past five years was Rs 9,247 crore which was Rs 1,200 crore more than the total loan of Rs 8,032 crore availed by Congress government between 2003-07, he said.

Referring to Rs 1,100 crore World Bank loan sanctioned to Himachal Pradesh, Singh said the Leader of the Opposition was claiming credit for the loan which entailed 90 per cent subsidy. But, this subsidy has been given by the Union government and not by WB which has not allowed any subsidy on the loan, he said.

Putting a question mark on various awards won by the BJP government, the chief minister said no doubt these awards were conferred by top dignitaries but the "credibility" of the organisations deciding the awards should be understood.

Deflating the tall claims of development made by the BJP government, Singh quoting a survey conducted by a reputed magazine which put the state at the 19th spot in a list of 20.

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