Top official refutes allegations that Andhra Pradesh’s finances are in a bad shape

A deliberate malicious campaign is being carried out that Andhra Pradesh is reeling under ₹10 lakh crore debt, says Duvvuri Krishna

May 11, 2023 06:24 pm | Updated 06:24 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Special Secretary to the Chief Minister (Finance and Economic Affairs) Duvvuri Krishna has refuted the observations of “financial expert” G.V. Rao on Andhra Pradesh’s finances and his comments that the State will suffer severely if the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) is voted to power again.

Addressing the media at the Secretariat, at Velagapudi, near here, on May 11 (Thursday), Mr. Krishna alleged “that a vernacular daily has published an interview of a person without name or fame, calling him as an economic expert.”

“The so-called expert has tried to portray the State’s finances in poor light, but could not substantiate his observations with facts and figures,” Mr. Krishna alleged.

‘Shallow, superficial analysis’

“Every document pertaining to the government is in public domain. The government welcomes an analysis, or constructive criticism of the same, but not shallow and superficial analysis,” he said.

Mr. Krishna said that “a deliberate malicious campaign is being carried out that the State is reeling under ₹10 lakh crore debt.”

The reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and the RBI establish beyond doubt that the debts availed by the TDP government were far high, he said.

“The increase in debts during the present YSRCP dispensation is not higher than what has been accumulated during the TDP term, both in terms of absolute numbers as well as CAG figures,” Mr. Krishna asserted.

Outstanding liabilities

The overall liabilities were ₹4,12,288 crore when the TDP demitted office in May 2019. As of March 2023, the overall liabilities were ₹6,51,789 crore, he said.

“The outstanding liabilities have increased by 169% during the five-year TDP term. This translates to a compounded annual growth rate of liabilities of 21.87% during 2014-19. As against that, the outstanding liabilities have increased by only 58% during the YSRCP term from 2019 to 2023, translating to a compounded annual growth rate of only 12.69%,” Mr. Krishna argued.

Refuting the observation that the government was incurring wasteful expenditure, Mr. Krishna said the YSRCP government was spending on crucial sectors such as education, health, and agriculture.

For instance, with respect to education, the situation was very pathetic during the TDP term, he alleged.

Increase in GER

Owing to the proactive policies of the YSRCP government, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) with respect to primary education increased to 101.6% from 84.48% during the TDP term, he said.

Mr. Krishna said the allegations that the government was diverting funds without depositing it in the consolidated fund of the State was not only an act of casting aspersions on the State government but also on the constitutional and legal framework, the RBI and the CAG.

COVID-19 impact

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an estimated revenue loss of ₹66,116 crore, he said. The pandemic related expenditure was significant, important programmes with various crucial sectors were not compromised, he added.

“How can one say that the fiscal management is bad? How can one irresponsibly say that the prospect of electing back the same government will be detrimental to the interests of the people of the State?” he questioned.

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