CM wants Centre to ease FRBM restrictions

What right does the Centre have to stop the growth of the States, Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao asks

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has reiterated his demand that the Central government relax the restrictions on borrowing under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act to allow growing States like Telangana to take up developmental works without a hindrance.

The Chief Minister expressed concern over the restrictions imposed on States’ borrowings in the name of FRBM norms and said “the Centre should not curtail growth of States like Telangana. This will also impact the growth of the country. What right does the Centre has to stop the growth of the States?” he asked.

The Chief Minister was replying to the general discussion on budget in the Legislative Assembly on Sunday. In his close to three-hour reply, the Chief Minister said the prudent economic measures adopted by the State had ensured that it achieved 21 % growth year on year since the first year of its formation. The State’s tax contribution to the Central poll was to the tune of ₹2.71 lakh crore over the past five years whereas it had received only ₹31,000 crore in return as the State’s share.

Top revenue collection

“Telangana is one among the six States that are feeding the country because of its fiscal prudence. We have contributed good lot of resources for the country’s development as was proved by none other than the Comptroller and Auditor General of India,” he said. He expressed concern over the propaganda being conducted in the name of debt burden to create panic among the people and said the State made capital investments through the debts mobilised and the results of this would come out soon.

The Government had to stand guarantee to loans mobilised by Civil Supplies, Road Transport and other corporations in addition to taking over the more than ₹9,000 crore loans of the distribution companies. Coupled with this was the more than ₹69,000 crore debt that was inherited at the time of the State formation. “But financial institutions are willing to give loans as we have never defaulted and we are making the debt related payments by day and by time,” he asserted.

Political criticism

Mr. Rao launched a trenchant attack on the opposition Congress for trying to make “cheap comments” against the government for political gains and said the ruling party had never gone back on the promises it made during the elections like the Congress. “We never hoodwinked the people and there is no reason for us to speak lies,” he said advising the Congress leaders not to indulge in criticism for criticism sake.

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