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Shabbir Ali blames KCR’s erratic approach for economic crisis in Telangana

Hyderabad: Congress senior leader and former Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for his late reaction to the economic crisis in Telangana State.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Sunday, said it was shocking that the Chief Minister has realised about the effects of economic slowdown after end of eight months in the current financial year. “While the entire world was talking about economic slowdown, the Chief Minister was making false claims about zero impact.

Finally, in September this year, the State Government came up with a full fledged budget for 2019-20 while cutting down expenditure by over 30%. As against the Vote on Account budget of Rs. 182,017 crore presented on February 22 this year, the full budget was of Rs. 146,492 crore wherein the State Government reduced the annual expenditure by Rs. 35,525 crore,” he said while adding that the State Government now appears to be in no position to spend even Rs. 1.46 lakh crore.

Citing unaudited provisional figures of Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG), Shabbir Ali said that as against the estimated Tax Revenues of Rs. 1.14 lakh crore during the year 2019-20, the collections up to October was just Rs. 51,355 crore or just 45.41%.

This includes Rs. 6,404.97 Crore towards State’s Share of Union Taxes. Similarly, Non-Tax-Revenue was a mere 15.38% (Rs. 2,442 Cr) of original estimation (Rs. 15,875 Cr).

However, he said KCR Government was not going slow on borrowings from different resources thus pushing the State in a huge debt trap. He said from April-October this year, the State Government has borrowed Rs. 17,500 crore.

Shabbir Ali said that the Chief Minister has caused huge damage by wrongly calling Telangana a rich and revenue surplus State.

By doing so, he deprived the State from various Central funds. Further, huge loans of nearly Rs. 3 lakh crore were borrowed at high interest rates which turned Telangana into a debt-ridden State. He said that KCR was too late in reacting to the financial situation.

He said he must have directed TRS MPs to raise the issue since the beginning of Parliament session last month. However, KCR is writing a letter to Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman at the fag end of Parliament session.

The Congress leader advised KCR to take an all-party delegation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narender Modi on the issue. He said KCR must learn to act in a collective manner than taking individual decisions. “Is it not strange that the Chief Minister holds a review meeting on the financial situation and do not involve the State’s Finance Minister (Harish Rao). He doesn’t have trust in his own people,” he said.

Shabbir Ali welcomed the Chief Minister’s decision to reduce the expenditure for all the departments. “KCR should begin this by cutting down his own personal expenditure. He should stop travelling by chartered flights and helicopters till the financial situation improves.

The expenditure on Pragathi Bhavan should also be slashed and KCR must give up his lavish lifestyle to set an example,” he said. He also advised the Chief Minister not to appoint Chairpersons for the defunct corporations. He said the expenditure on salaries and perks of Chairman and members of some corporations like HACA would exceed the annual budget of those corporations.

“Congress party has been warning since beginning that BJP Government’s moves of demonitisation and GST were erratic and they would ruin the economy. However, KCR was the first Chief Minister to support those moves. Now KCR himself is blaming the faulty polices of the Centre for present difficult situation,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said KCR was now blaming the economic slowdown to delay the implementation of major poll promises. He said nearly 50% of farmers did not get the Rythu Bandhu amounts. The promised crop loan waiver up to Rs. 1 lakh was not yet fulfilled.

Jobless youth are still waiting for the promised allowance of Rs. 3,016 per month since December last year. The employees are waiting for Interim Relief (IR) and implementation of new PRC (Pay Revision Commission) scales. There are many financial commitments which KCR wants to prolong in the name of economic slowdown, he said. (INN)

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