TS urges Centre to increase borrowing limit to 5% of GSDP

Telangana Minister for Finance T. Harish Rao has requested the Centre to further increase the State’s borrowing limit to 5% of its GSDP from the present 4% under the provisions of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act to tackle to the impact on State’s finances due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown and slowdown in the economic activity.

Speaking at the 44th GST Council virtual meet held from New Delhi by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, he observed that increase in the FRBM borrowing limits would spur the State and country’s economic activity and improve employment generation. He explained that Telangana had suffered revenue loss of about ₹4,100 crore due to lockdown in May month alone. He brought to the notice of the GST Council that Telangana’s finances were sailing through rough weather due to the lockdown for over a month now and slowdown in the economic activity due to the COVID-19 impact. The minister’s office stated that the Union Minister had responded to the State’s request and assured to examine it.

Mr. Harish Rao further appealed to the GST Council to take up free vaccination to all sections (age groups) of people at the earliest to save lives and also to check the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the economic activity. He suggested import of COVID vaccines from overseas to take up planned and speedy vaccination on a massive scale since the required quantities of vaccines was not being made in the country.

Speeding up massive vaccination exercise was the dire necessity as the public health experts and scientists were forecasting/warning the inevitability of third wave of novel coronavirus spread in the country. The first two waves of the infectious virus spread had battered the country’s economy badly and it was only through massive vaccination it could be brought on the rails again.

The Telangana Finance Minister supported the proposal of Group of Ministers led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma to reduce the tax on COVID-19 essentials such as medical oxygen, oxy meters, hand sanitisers, ventilators and other medical equipment used in the treatment of the virus infection. Mr. Harish Rao attended the virtual meeting from B.R.K.R. Bhavan, the makeshift Secretariat of Telangana, along with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and senior officials from Finance, Revenue, Medical and Health and other departments.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 9:16:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ts-urges-centre-to-increase-borrowing-limit-to-5-of-gsdp/article34798026.ece

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