The newly-elected DMK government in Tamil Nadu will release a White Paper on the State’s finances at the earliest, Finance Minister P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan told The Hindu in an interview on Wednesday.
“My first step is to release a White Paper myself,” he said, adding that the objective was to let the public understand the true state of affairs. The debutant Minister, a former investment banker, dismissed criticism that handing over cash assistance to the people amounted to freebies. “In a crisis like this [COVID-19 pandemic], our first priority is to get cash into the hands of the people and get demand back up. What we have done is classic macro-economics. It is perverse to call this freebies,” he said. The government’s priority was to restore Tamil Nadu to the “good state” it was between 2004 and 2014, when it complied with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2003.
Disapproving of the previous AIADMK government’s handling of the State’s finances, he said, “For the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu, we used borrowing to pay compulsory expenses and non-discretionary expenses like salary and interest. We have to get out of that business. I have to fix that.”