TRS govt pushing State into debt trap: Bhatti

Given past experience there is likely to be a revenue shortfall, says CLP leader

Updated - March 16, 2020 09:17 pm IST

Published - March 16, 2020 08:50 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Leader of Congress Legislature Party Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka along with Mulugu MLA Seethakka (left), MLA from Manthani D. Sridhar Babu and Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy in Hyderabad on Monday.

Leader of Congress Legislature Party Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka along with Mulugu MLA Seethakka (left), MLA from Manthani D. Sridhar Babu and Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy in Hyderabad on Monday.

Leader of the Congress Legislature Party Bhatti Vikramarka has said that though the State government proposed an ambitious budget outlay of ₹1,82,914 crore and with a revenue surplus of over ₹4,000 crore for 2020-21, it may end up as deficit budget.

“It does not appear to be a healthy budget,” he said.

He was speaking on the Telangana Appropriation Bill moved by Finance Minister T.Harisha Rao in the Legislative Assembly here on Monday.

Given the difference between the estimated and actual revenue receipts in the last five years was about 25%, Mr. Vikramarka said the government estimated the revenue receipts at ₹85,300 crore , increasing it by ₹14,000 crore over that of 2019-20. In the State’s own tax and non-tax revenue, the shortfall will likely be around ₹25,000 crore, he said. The budget for 2020-21 may end up with a revenue deficit of ₹20,000 crore, he cautioned.

The State might be forced to spend its borrowings to meet revenue expenditure rather than the capital expenditure and this could push the State into a debt trap. He sought DPRs for the irrigation projects be presented to the House as promised to bring in transparency on how the borrowed funds were being spent.

He said the Opposition would get its feedback from people about lapses in execution of programmes like Mission Bhagiratha, unresolved problem of Podu cultivators, unemployment of youth and when these were raised for the benefit of the State, the ruling party made derogatory remarks. The Chief Minister even went to the extent of describing Congress as coronavirus. The remarks should be removed from the records to keep the dignity of the House, he said.

Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao said the Opposition should also be dignified and fair in its criticism and appreciate the good work done to get a dignified reply. If the Opposition made wild allegations, the ruling party would also give political reply as people would watch everything. “If the State is not financially healthy, how the government was spending all its welfare programmes and purchasing paddy from all farmers and even stepping in by releasing ₹300 crore for procuring redgram when Centre failed to do so,” he countered.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao refuted Mr. Vikramarka claims on unemployment issue and sought to know how many jobs had TDP and Congress given in Telangana region in the combined State. The TRS Party never said it would give 50 lakh jobs and only promised one lakh jobs and kept its word and would give more. “Would you give jobs to 50 lakh people,” he challenged and when Congress leader responded positively, Chief Minister countered why they could not do so in 50 years.

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