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Congress Blames KCR For Economic Crisis In State

Senior Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir today criticized Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for his "late reaction" to the "economic crisis" in Telangana.
Hyderabad | 8th December 2019
Senior Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir today criticized Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for his "late reaction" to the "economic crisis" in Telangana.

Shabbir Ali said that it was shocking that the Chief Minister had understood that there was economic slowdown at the end of eight months in the current financial year.

"While the entire world was talking about an economic slowdown, the Chief Minister was making false claims of a zero impact on Telangana. Finally, in September this year, the State government came up with a full-fledged budget for 2019-20 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, and added that the State government appeared to be in no position to spend even Rs 1.46 lakh crore now.

Citing unaudited provisional figures of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG), Shabbir Ali said that as against estimated tax revenues of Rs 1.14 lakh crore during 2019-20, the collections up to October were just Rs 51,355 crore or just 45.41%. This included Rs 6,404.97 crore as the State's share of union taxes. Similarly, non-tax revenue was a mere 15.38% (Rs 2,442 crore) of the original estimate (Rs 15,875 crore). However, the KCR government was still not going slow on borrowings from different resources, pushing the State into a huge debt trap - he said that in April-October of this year, the State government had borrowed Rs 17,500 crore.

Shabbir Ali said that the Chief Minister had caused huge damage by wrongly calling Telangana a rich and revenue-surplus State. By doing so, he deprived the State of various Central funds. Further, huge loans of nearly Rs 3 lakh crore were borrowed at high interest rates which had turned Telangana into a debt-ridden State.

He said that KCR was too late in reacting to the financial situation. The CM should have directed the TRS MPs to raise the issue in Parliament, but was writing a letter to Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman at the fag end of the Parliament session, he lamented.

"And is it not strange that the Chief Minister holds a review meeting on the financial situation and that does not involve the State's finance minister?" he said.

The Congress leader advised KCR to take an all-party delegation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.

He also welcomed the Chief Minister's decision to reduce expenditure in all the departments. "KCR should begin this by cutting down his 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.

Shabbir Ali also advised the Chief Minister not to appoint Chairpersons for the defunct corporations. He said that the expenditure on the salaries and the perks of the Chairmen and members of some corporations like HACA would exceed the annual budget of those corporations.

Shabbir Ali also said that KCR was now blaming the economic slowdown to delay the implementation of his major election-eve promises. He said that nearly 50% of the farmers had not gotten the Rythu Bandhu amounts. The promised crop loan waiver of up to Rs 1 lakh was also not yet fulfilled, he pointed out. And unemployed youth were still waiting for the promised allowance of Rs 3,016 per month since December of last year, he added.

The employees were also waiting for Interim Relief (IR) and implementation of the new PRC (Pay Revision Commission) scales, he said. There were many financial commitments which KCR was trying to prolong citing the economic slowdown, he alleged.
filed in:  Telangana, Telangana Congress, Shabbir Ali, KCR, Economy
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