Cash-strapped Telangana looks to raise Rs.2000 cr for Rythu Bandhu

HYDERABAD: Following Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao's instruction to the finance ministry to begin disbursing Rythu Bandhu funds to farmers for the rabi season on December 28, for which Rs. 7,600 crore is required, the cash-strapped finance department is exploring all options to raise money for the scheme.

The finance department has put an indent with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to raise a Rs. 2,000-crore loan through auction of bonds to be held on Tuesday.

So far in the fiscal year 2022-23, the state government has raised Rs. 25,500 crore through bond auctions. The state’s borrowing will increase to Rs. 27,500 crore with the government raising Rs. 2,000 crore through auction of bonds. The government now has a balance of Rs. 11,500 crore to raise through bond auctions in the last quarter of this fiscal year (January-March 2023).

Official sources said the state government was eligible to raise Rs. 54,000 crore through bond auctions for fiscal 2022-23 under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRMB) Act guidelines. The Centre, on the other hand, reduced the loan limit to Rs. 39,000 crore, citing massive off-budget borrowings made through various corporations. The state government suffered a loss of Rs. 15,000 crore as a result of this.

This apart, the Centre has also stopped the release of Rs. 20,000 crore loans to various corporations. Further, the Centre refused 0.5 per cent additional borrowing under the FRBM Act after the state government refused to implement power reforms, resulting in a further loss of nearly Rs. 5,000 crore.

All of these factors contributed to the TS government losing nearly Rs. 40,000 crore in loans this year, putting all welfare initiatives, including Rythu Bandhu, in jeopardy.

Farmers will receive the Rythu Bandhu payments in phases beginning December 28 with those owning up to one acre on Day-1, and later land extent will be increased by one acre every day until all farmers will be covered by January 15.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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