Centre trying to weaken States, says CM  

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao during the Independence Day celebrations at Golconda Fort in Hyderabad on Monday.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao during the Independence Day celebrations at Golconda Fort in Hyderabad on Monday. | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Central government of trying to weaken the States in violation of federal principles enshrined in the Constitution.

“The Central government which is harping on cooperative federalism is however trying to centralise powers. The Centre’s actions are tantamount to ridiculing the first Article of the Constitution which describes India as a union of States,” he said. The Chief Minister utilised the Independence Day celebrations to launch a trenchant attack on the BJP led Government.

In his more than half an hour speech, Mr. Rao said the Centre was resorting to backdoor methods in usurping the devolutions due to States in the name of cesses. “While the States should get 41 per cent of the taxes that are collected, the government is resorting to backdoor methods like imposing cess. As a result, the States are losing 11.4 per cent revenue and able to get only 29.6 per cent,” he said.

This is in addition to various sanctions imposed on the States in a “dictatorial manner.” This could be seen from the manner in which cuts were imposed on the quantum of borrowings obtained by the States well within the limits prescribed under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.

Mr. Rao also took a dig at those who were criticising the State government on the pretext of “excessive borrowings”. The figures released by the Centre put the debt of Telangana at the end of 2019-20 at ₹ 2.25 lakh crore. The State had inherited debt of ₹ 75,577 crore at the time of bifurcation which would mean that it had raised borrowings to the tune of ₹ 1.49 lakh crore till 3029-20. The entire quantum of loans raised by the State were utilised on capital expenditure like projects and other basic infrastructrure.

Going by the GSDP, debt ratio, 22 of the 28 States had more debt than Telangana. While the GSDP: debt ratio of Telangana was 23.5, the same at the national level was 50.4. “Telangana’s debt is well within the FRBM limits, but vested interests are indulging in mudslinging in the name of debts,” he said.

Mr. Rao criticised the Centre for burdening people, poor and middle classes, in particular in the name of different taxes. “From milk consumed by children to construction of burial grounds/crematoriums, the Centre has been imposing taxes on different counts,” he said adding while it was the primary responsibility of the government to look after the welfare of the people, it was insulting the schemes aimed at their welfare branding them as “freebies”.

As a result of the Centre’s policies, the economic progress of the country was suffering, with inflation reaching all-time high and skyrocketing prices and unemployment becoming rampant. To cover up their failures, some leaders at the Centre were resorting to divisive strategies spreading hatred among the people.

“People in constitutional posts are indulging in fascist attacks with an aim to destroy peace and amity in the country which had been preserved for generations,” he said. He cautioned the people against divisive forces that were trying to fuel communal hatred in the State which would in turn hurt the developmental works. “Intellectuals, youth, students and other sections should be cautious and fight back these forces,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2022 3:10:27 am |