Borrowing of AP government within limits, asserts Buggana
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Md Illyas
VIjayawada: Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath has said the AP Government's debt was Rs 1,64,725 crore as on March 31, 2023. He refuted the allegations of opposition parties that the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government violated the norms and rules.
The minister recalled that under the Telugu Desam rule the previous term, AP has had twice the debt of the Centre. "Every rupee spent by the YSRC government is accounted for and AP is the only state that has provided Rs 2,05,109 crore to the people's accounts through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode.
Rajendranath recalled that in 2019, the then finance minister Yanamala Ramkrishnudu said, "The treasury is empty! Only Rs 100 crore of funds remain."
Rajendranath said Yanamala Ramkrishnudu alleging that the state’s debt at present was Rs 12.5 lakh crore and Chandrababu alleging the state debt was Rs 10.31 lakh crore and shouting from roof-tops that Andhra Pradesh is going to become another Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Zimbabwe were all totally false. They were saying these without a proper understanding of the state's financial condition," the minister asserted.
The FM explained, "In fact, by the time the TD government came down in May 2019, the debt of AP was Rs 2,71,797 crore. As on March 31, 2023, the state's debt was Rs 4,36,522 crore. According to these calculations, the debts incurred by the YSRC government in these four years are literally only Rs 1,64,725 crore. If we compare the increase in debt, during the previous government's tenure, during 2014-19, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the central government debt increased by 9.89 per cent, while the CAGR of our state debt increased by 19.02 per cent."
"In other words, the official statistics prove that the state incurred twice as much debt as of the Center during the TD term."
The minister said, "During the YSRC government’s tenure (June 2019 to March 2023), the central government debt increased at a CAGR of 14.37 per cent, but the state debt increased at a CAGR of 13.55 per cent. It means the AP government debt increased slowly (slower pace)."
He said, "According to the Census-2011, the population of Andhra Pradesh is 4.96 crore. For this population, the per capita debt is only Rs 88,008. The interest on loans for 2022-23 is Rs 25,754 crore only."
Rajendranath said RBI has provided ways and means and overdraft facilities to states for day-to-day cash management. "Ways and Means and Overdraft are only temporary loans. AP state debt under 'Ways and Means' and 'Overdraft' is zero."
He recalled that the TD government also got Rs 59,729 crore as ways and means in the financial year 2018-19, out of which Rs 139 crore remained unpaid by them.
According to the SDG Index announced by NITI Aayog for the year 2020-21, Andhra Pradesh is ranked 4th with a score of 72. The NITI Aayog statistics concluded that AP’s is better than India's average score in this score every time, he said.
The minister said that at current prices, the per capita income of the state is Rs 2,19,518 (2022-23 AE). India's per capita income is Rs 1,72,000 (2022-23 AE), which showed that, in 2022-23, the per capita income of the state will be 27.6 per cent higher than the per capita income of the country. "Andhra Pradesh is better at 4th position in terms of per capita income," he added.