The Punjab government is in financial straits. To the extent that it has mortgaged the Gandhi Vanita Ashram for widows in Jalandhar and the state jails in Bathinda, as well as other real estate, in order to raise Rs.2,100 crore to fill its coffers.
The Akali Dal-BJP government is carrying a debt of Rs.1.25 lakh crore and has found it difficult to even pay the salaries of its staff.
Official documents from the government have revealed that they mortgaged the properties between 2013 and 2015 to support its subsidies and state schemes. A 3.73 acres plot reserved for a multiplex by Amritsar Improvement Trust has also been mortgaged for a Rs.100 crore loan from Andhra Bank. Another Rs.400 crore has been raised against the property on which Amritsar’s old mental hospital stands. All the loans carry interest rates that are burgeoning.
Sites in Jagraon, Mansa and Patiala has been mortgaged for a Rs.740 crore loan with Canara Bank and in Jalandhar two state offices have also been mortgaged.