Fiscal populism after the return of electoral democracy has crushed the state, once India’s richest. It has managed to retain the ‘granary of India’ tag with huge water and power subsidies that have pushed the debt burden by Rs 1,000 crore in five years.
The first to ask for autonomy in 1971, it’s better-managed than the other claimants. But growth is sluggish and salary outgo too high to leave funds for social projects.
One of the poorest in India, this insurgency-rocked state depends heavily on Central assistance. Total debt is Rs 7,850 cr, 64 per cent of that owed to the Centre.