Lok Satta blames populist schemes for financial crisis

HYDERABAD: Lok Satta Party (LSP) blamed the populist schemes and the alleged corruption in irrigation projects as the reason for the present financial crisis that has gripped the government.

At a press conference here on Thursday, LSP president Jayaprakash Narayan said the crisis was inevitable because of the government’s skewed priorities in raising revenues and incurring expenditure. “Creative accounting and jugglery with data even by Finance Minister K. Rosaiah cannot conceal the fact that a financially crippled Andhra Pradesh is in no position to invest in much-needed infrastructure to tackle the downturn in our economy,” he pointed out.

He noted that the government relied on revenue of nearly Rs. 25,000 crore through sale of government lands and liquor. Even a bankrupt family would not sell its family silver to meet its day-to-day expenditure, he said. In addition, the government relied on money from liquor sales, unmindful of the fact that 70 lakh families had already been ruined because of liquor addiction.

He charged that the government ‘squandered’ money on populist and unproductive schemes or those that offered ‘commissions’ and boasted that none could excel it in taking ‘welfare and development’ to the public. He termed the Pranahita-Chevella irrigation scheme taken up at a cost of Rs. 38,500 crore a ridiculous project. If the same amount was spent on industrialisation, infrastructure, promotion of small towns and rejuvenation of agriculture, livelihood could be shown to more than one crore people.

He challenged Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy or the Finance Minister for a public debate to consider alternatives to present policies for bettering the lives of the poor.

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