Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman has said that the Telangana government had pushed the State into such a debt crisis that every newborn child had a debt of ₹1.25 lakh on her/ his head.
The State had crossed the borrowing limits prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act and took loans in excess of budget approvals given by the Assembly, Ms. Sitaraman told a media conference at Kamareddy town in Telangana where she was on a three-day tour from Thursday. Her tour was part of Lok Sabha Pravas Yojana of BJP as in-charge Central Minister for Zaheerabad Parliamentary constituency.
She said the State Assembly was not informed of off-budget borrowings by the government. The budget did not reflect the borrowings. The Centre had a right to question the State governments in such cases but the Telangana evaded reply.
A Central team had even visited the State to enquire why the ₹20,000 crore funding for implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Sccheme was not spent in full. But, the reply was not satisfactory.
Ms. Sitaraman charged the government with changing the names of Centrally sponsored schemes to gain political mileage. The Centre gave the schemes one name but it was changed to another by the State. For instance, the ‘Mana Ooru-Mana Badi` programme was a Central programme but owned up by the State government by giving its own name.
She said the government had turned the surplus budget of the State to deficit. As many as 91 out of every 100 farmers were in debt.
She also said the government did not join the Ayushman Bharat programme of Centre as it will expose its hollowness in health care. Why did the State not implement the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana?. Why did it not waive ₹1 lakh loans of farmers as promised in elections? Why was the Rytu Bima of ₹5 lakh life insurance for farmers not implemented for tenant farmers? she asked.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi government made tall claims but never implemented them. The State stood fourth in the country in suicide by farmers. The cost of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project escalated from ₹38,000 crore to ₹1.25 lakh crore. An increase of 10-15 % was alright factoring in cost overheads and incidentals, but such a huge jump without any additional increase in irrigable area lacked reason. The same 18 lakh acres was to be irrigated with the three-fold increase in budget.
Ms. Sitaraman will visit Yellareddy, Jukkal and Banswada towns on Friday and Saturday. She held a meeting of the core committee of BJP for Zaheerabad constituency. She also met the office bearers of the constituency level committee.
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