Centre acted against federal spirit: Harish Rao

Update: 2023-02-06 19:22 GMT
Finance minister T. Harish Rao presenting the annual Budget in State Legislative Assembly. (Photo by arrangement)

HYDERABAD: Finance minister T. Harish Rao in his 105-minute hour budget speech on Monday came down heavily against the BJP-led government at the Centre for discriminating against Telangana. Without naming governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Rao also countered her Republic Day speech that new buildings were not for development and nation- building marks development.

Rao said that the Centre has imposed a cut of `15,033 crore on the state government's loans in 2022-23 and acted against the federal spirit of the nation. He pointed out that the promises made under the AP Reorganisation Act have remained unfulfilled. About `1,350 crore towards backward districts development funds were still due from the

Centre. He said despite restrictions and discrimination by the Centre, Telangana has not compromised on the development and welfare

programmes of the people. Notwithstanding the disruptive forces trying to disturb communal and social harmony, he said Telangana is continuing its growth trajectory by maintaining its ‘Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb’.

The Centre has broken the tradition of implementing in toto the recommendations of the Finance Commission. The 15th Finance Commission recommended a special grant of `723 crore and `171 crore to ensure that the tax devolution should not be less than the devolution received in 2019-20. However, the Centre ignored them.

For 2021-26, the 15th Finance Commission recommended grants of `5,374 crore to TS. By denying these grants, grave injustice has been done to Telangana, the minister said.

The Centre ignored assurances given to TS in AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 with regard to tax concessions to promote industrialisation and economic growth, `1,350 crore grants for three years at the rate of `450 crore per year for development of backward areas, NITI Aayog recommendations of extending grant of `19,205 crore for Mission Bhagiratha and `5,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya, establishment of rail coach factory at Kazipet, Bayyaram steel plant, tribal university and ITIR-Hyderabad, he said.

Rao criticised the Centre for delay in resolving the Krishna water sharing between AP and TS due to which irrigation projects like Palamur-RR were getting delayed.

"Whether the government is constructing hospital buildings, school buildings, vaikuntadhamams, dump yards, rythu vedikas, integrated district collectorate complexes, adivasi and banjara bhavans, new Secretariat, reconstruction of Yadadri temple, martyrs memorial or a monumental Ambedkar statue, are all meant for providing better facilities to the people. They are also meant for promoting Telangana's self-respect and identity before the world community," Harish said, apparently in reference to Governor's speech.

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