Andhra Pradesh

Govt. borrowed more to continue welfare schemes, says Buggana

The government, in the wake of a sharp decline in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had no option but to borrow more and bail out the poor and middle class sections of society in the hour of crisis, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy said on Friday.

“It is true that the debts availed by the government are more than the budget estimates. But, one has to understand that no State or country is immune to the COVID-19 impact,” Mr. Rajendranath Reddy told the media here.

“The government has taken a conscious decision to continue the welfare schemes despite negative growth. The expenditure has gone up significantly, while revenues plummeted. The borrowings have been utilised to continue the welfare schemes. The revenue expenditure thus incurred has been ploughed back into the economy, fuelling growth and improving GST collections,” the Finance Minister explained.

‘GST collections up’

The revenue in June 2020-21 was ₹5,781 crore against ₹3,540 crore during the corresponding period the previous year. There was a growth of 8% in GST collections compared to the previous financial year, he said.

States such as Gujarat and Maharashtra might have fared well, but Andhra Pradesh’s performance, when compared with the national average, was far better, the Minister asserted.

Andhra Pradesh stood second in the country with regard to the GST collections. The revenue deficit was brought down from minus 12.9% in the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year to minus 3% by the fourth quarter, he explained.

Dig at Naidu

Reacting to TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s allegations that he had made riches through illegal mining, the Minister said, “My family has been in the mining business since 1918. Mine is the fourth generation.”

“Let’s compare my old ancestral house and old car with the wealth of Mr. Naidu. The former Chief Minister’s father had only two acres of land. But Mr. Naidu now owns a palatial house worth about ₹100 crore in Hyderabad. Let Mr. Naidu clear the air on it, and I am ready for discussion,” Mr. Rajendranath Reddy said.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 5:40:19 PM |

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