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Jagan govt blames it on Naidu, Covid for high debts

Jagan govt blames it on Naidu, Covid for high debts

The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday sought to blame it on the misrule of the previous Telugu Desam Party government between 2014 and 2019 and the Coronavirus pandemic for the high borrowings of the state.

A clarification to this effect was given by special secretary to the chief minster on finance and economic affairs Krishna Duvvuri at a press conference in Vijayawada.

The clarification comes a day after the Centre disclosing in Lok Sabha that Andhra Pradesh tops all the states in the country in going in for heavy borrowings.

Duvvuri said the liabilities of the state were not exclusively due to the present government, but due to the misgovernance and expenditure profligacy of the the previous TDP government. At the time of bifurcation, the debt of combined State assigned to Government of successor State of Andhra Pradesh was Rs Rs 1.20 lakh crore, including the public account share and it had gone up to Rs 2.68 lakh crore in the next five years.

“Besides, the outstanding payables as on March 31, 2019 were to the tune of Rs. 39,000 crores and off-budget borrowings were to the tune of Rs 58,000 crores. The debt in the books of the power sector corporations went up from Rs 33,587 crore to Rs 70,254 crore during the TDP regime,” he said.

The official pointed out that the borrowings by the TDP government went up by 17.33 per cent, as against 9.78 per cent of the Central government.

“Had this borrowing supported productive expenditure, various sectors in the State would have been substantially improved. But all the sectors fared very badly during the TDP regime,” he alleged.

In the last two years, the Jagan government had to go in for heavy borrowings due to unprecedented crisis on account of Coronavirus pandemic. The growth of union tax revenues in 2019-20 was the lowest in the last two decades. As a result, it was essential for the government to step up the public expenditure to save lives, for which it had to indulge in heavy borrowing.

During 2019-20, while Andhra Pradesh was expected to receive Rs. 34,833 crores as its share in Central taxes, it actually received only Rs. 28,242 crores, besides a fall in its own revenues. During 2020- 21, the State lost Rs 7,780 crores on account of State’s share in Central taxes, Rs 7,000 crores on account of own revenues and in addition to this, the State had to incur Covid related expenditure to the tune of Rs. 8,000 crores. 

“Despite the huge fiscal disability, the present government believed that the only way to protect the people from utter distress is through direct benefit transfer schemes. It also ensured that there are no hiccups in implementation of programmes such Nadu – Nedu Health and Education, which are top priority projects creating benefits of enduring nature for the future of the State,” the official added.

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