Hyderabad: Congress senior leader and former Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has alleged that the wrong policies and immature approach of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has shattered the economy of Telangana State.
Reacting on the full budget for 2019-20 presented by the Chief Minister in Assembly today, Shabbir Ali said that as against the Vote on Account budget of Rs. 182,017 crore presented on February 22 this year, the full budget is of Rs. 146,492 crore.
Therefore, the State Government has reduced the annual expenditure by Rs. 35,525 crore. “As always, the Chief Minister has not explained the logic behind cutting down the expenditure although he admitted that Telangana was badly hit by ongoing economic slowdown. There are a lot of contradictions in the figures mentioned by the Chief Minister in his budget speech.
As per the Revenue Account Surplus or Deficit table in the document Overview of Budget 2019-20 presented along with budget, the Revenue Receipts for 2018-19 (RE) were of Rs. 119,099 Crore. Similarly, the estimated receipts of 2019-20 are Rs. 113,099 Crore.
Therefore, the difference in revenue receipts is of Rs. 6,000 crore. Similarly, the expenditure for 2019-20 has been estimated at Rs. 111,055 Cr compared to Rs. 119,026 Cr in 2018-19 or less than Rs. 7,971 crore. These figures are nowhere close to the estimates shown in the Vote on Account budget,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that the Chief Minister, in his budget speech, has admitted of economic slowdown over the last one and a half year. “Why the Chief Minister did not sense the impact of slowdown while presenting the Vote on Account budget about seven months ago? TRS Government never had a realistic approach towards budget and always presented escalated figures to cheat the people.
There was not a single budget since 2014-15 where actual expenditure matched or even came closer to the estimates mentioned in the budget speech,” he said.
The Congress leader also slammed the Chief Minister for pushing Telangana into a debt crisis. As per budget papers presented today, the Public Debt Outstanding of Telangana State was Rs. 203,730.10 crore which is 21.39% of GSDP, the highest in the last four years.
They include Rs. 163,067 Cr of Open Market Loans; Rs. 9,475 Cr loans from Central Govt and Rs. 12,391 Cr Loans from Autonomous Bodies. Further, the State Government has given guarantees of Rs. 77,314.86 crore. Therefore, as on today, Telangana is in debts of Rs. 281,044.96 which nearly 248% higher than the present revenues of entire State. He also said that the Chief Minister did not clarify on the means to increase Non-Tax Revenues from Rs. 6,347 Cr in 2018-19 to Rs. 15,875 Cr.
Shabbir Ali strongly condemned the Chief Minister for proposing to sell away prime lands of Telangana to generate revenues. “TRS Government has already pushed the State into deep debt crisis and now it wants to sell away the government lands to private parties,” he alleged.
Minorities Welfare Budget Reduced By Rs. 611 Cr
Shabbir said that the budget for minorities’ welfare as been reduced by Rs. 611.54 crore compared to 2018-19. As against Rs. 1884.44 crore allocated in 2018-19, the budget has been slashed to Rs. 1314.49 crore in 2019-20.
Besides a cut by Rs. 569.92 crore in State’s budget, the Central spending on Multi Sectoral Development Programme for Minorities has been reduced by Rs. 41.61 crore from Rs. 90 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 32.45 crore in 2019-20. Shockingly, he said no amount has been allocated for T-Prime and T-SEZ scheme, construction of Sikh Bhavan and Christian Bhavan. Further, allocation for Subsidy for Bank Linked Income Generated Schemes has been reduced by Rs. 131.69 Cr.
The Chief Minister has targeted jobs and education of minorities by cutting down expenditure on important heads. For instance, he said funds for Telangana State Minorities Residential Schools and Hostels have been reduced by Rs. 264.25 Cr; Pre-Matric Scholarships by Rs. 27.10 Cr; Oversees Study Scheme for Minorities by Rs. 26.42 Cr; Scholarships to Minority Students by Rs. 11.97 Cr; Financial Assistance to Students of Telangana (FAST) RTF by Rs. 4.58 and Assistance to Centre for Education Development of Minorities by Rs. 2.67 Cr. He said out of 31 Heads of Department under Minorities Welfare, 27 are in red with huge cuts. (INN)