Ease budget norms, says Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao

He said states had been entrusted with the welfare of people

Hyderabad: In a break-up of the fund requirement, the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao sought Rs 4,216 crore for the modernisation of police force, Rs 4,200 crore for the restoration of tanks, Rs 1,091 crore for the IT sector, Rs 3,500 crore for the water grid, Rs 1,000 crore for afforestation, Rs 1,300 crore for primary education and Rs 1,300 crore for supplying power to the agriculture sector.

The Chief minister has also sought relaxation from the restrictions imposed on states, especially Telangana, from running higher deficit budgets in view of its development agenda in the newly created state.

Mr Rao has also opposed a suggestion from states such as Andhra Pradesh for taking the 1971 Census as a basis for calculating states' share in the Centre's shareable tax pool as it penalises Telangana, whose capital city Hyderabad's population was much less compared to its current inhabitants.

"The government has to cater to the needs of the present population and not to the notional 1971 population. The use of 1971 population penalises states like Telangana which witnessed a lot of migration from the other regions of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and other parts of the country," he explained.

Claiming that states had been entrusted with the welfare of people, Mr Rao sought adequate resource allocation for states to promote an inclusive development of people. "We request the commission to earmark 40 per cent of central tax revenue as tax devolution to states. This can easily be accommodated by a marginal reduction of five per cent in the Centre's expenditure on state subjects," he explained.

Highlighting the heavy indebtedness of states, the chief minister sought writing off of outstanding central loans to the state as the termination of central loans to states and consequent higher reliance on market borrowing with a much shorter tenor had adversely impacted the debt servicing burden.

The Telangana government also pitched for the central government sharing the subsidy burden of states and higher contribution to the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in view of Telangana's vulnerability to drought.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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