HYDERABAD: Finance minister T Harish Rao on Monday said that Telangana is among the states having the lowest debt burden in the country.
Replying to the debate on Budget 2021-22 in the Legislative Assembly, he said that Telangana remained at the third place from the bottom at
25th place in terms of debt as per the latest RBI report while several Congress and BJP-ruled states figure in the top-10 list of states having huge debt burden.
Harish dismissed opposition criticism over rising debt of the Telangana government. He said that the Centre owes Rs 28,225 crore to TS government in the form of various arrears and grants over the past six years. He came down heavily on CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and BJP member M Raghunanadan Rao over their statements that the state government had pushed Telangana State into a 'debt trap' in the last six years.
He said, "Telangana's debt burden is only 22.8 per cent of GSDP, which is well within the permissible limits under the FRBM Act. Telangana is at the third place from the bottom in the country. On the other hand, Punjab's debt is 38.7 per cent of GSDP and is at third place from the top. Rajasthan is at eight with 34.7 per cent debt while Chhattisgarh is at 18th place. These are the latest RBI figures. This shows the fiscal discipline and prudence of the Telangana government."
Harish claimed that TS debt condition is better even when compared with the BJP government at the Centre.
"The Centre's debt burden is 62.2 per cent of GDP while TS debt burden is just 22.8 per cent of GSDP," he stated.
Refuting Raghunandan R's claims that the Centre is releasing all arrears and funds to States within 30 days, Harish said, "Leave alone 30 days, we are not paid dues or given funds amounting to Rs 28,225 crore for the past six years. The Centre owes Rs 667 crore dues of 15th Finance Commission, Rs 5,500 crore for Mission Bhagiratha and Rs 19,200 crore for Mission Bhagiratha as recommended by Niti Aayog four years ago, Rs 1,129 crore 13th Finance Commission arrears, Rs 817 crore 14th Finance Commission arrears and Rs 1,450 crore BADF arrears."