Hyderabad: Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the fight against 'parivaarvaad' (nepotism) and corruption in his Independence Day speech, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao lashed out at the BJP-led Centre, accusing it of destroying the "spirit of federalism."
In his Independence Day speech at Golconda Fort on Monday, Rao accused the Centre of conspiring to weaken states economically by imposing financial restrictions, projecting welfare schemes as 'freebies' and burdening people with taxes. "The elders in power at the Centre are using hateful politics to divide the people in order to cover up their failures. These people are carrying out fascist attacks today in order to disrupt India's peaceful coexistence for generations. The souls of the freedom fighters will surely scream at this evil," he said.
The CM also took a dig at the Centre for reducing states’ FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) limits, claiming that Telangana's debt was well within permissible limits and that it was the Centre that had exceeded the FRBM.
The CM also announced lowering the age ceiling for Aasara pensions which would add 10 lakh beneficiaries and extending the scheme to dialysis patients.
"Governments' primary responsibility is to ensure public welfare. The Centre, which failed in this responsibility, is now insulting the welfare schemes provided by the states to the poor by terming them freebies,” Rao stated.
He said that the architects of the Constitution had envisioned the Centre and states leading the "chariot of progress like a pair of horses”. “That is why the federal structure was established. The current central government sitting on the throne of Delhi is undermining federal values,” the CM stated.
The Centre has been collecting revenue in the form of cesses rather than in the form of taxes with the malicious intention of reducing this share. Through this, 11.4 per cent of revenue due to the states in 2022-23 will be deducted. It means that states are only getting 29.6 per cent of the money instead of 41 per cent. This is unfair, Rao noted.
The Centre was imposing cuts on the loans taken by the states under the FRBM limit. The very first Article of the Constitution which states that India is a union of states was being mocked. Decisions on the subjects in the concurrent list are being taken without consulting the states. In this way, the Centre wanted to enforce the anti-farmer black laws, the CM said.
From infant milk to crematorium construction, the Centre was taxing everything and putting a huge burden on the poor and middle-class people. The economic development of the country has been stunted due to the inefficient management of the Centre. Inflation has increased and prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing. The rupee's value in the international market has reached an all-time low, while the country's unemployment rate is rising, he noted.
“India is globally acclaimed as a country of unity in diversity. Various trends are emerging today that are harming India’s reputation. Disruptive forces are attempting to stoke religious passions, harm the atmosphere of peace and harmony and thus impede our state’s development. The state’s intelligentsia, the youth, the students, everyone needs to be vigilant and thwart the conspiracies of these forces," he said.
The CM quoted the Centre’s figures to refute reports that Telangana is drowning in debt. For the fiscal year 2019-20, the total state debt is Rs 2,25,450 crore. In 2014, Telangana inherited a debt of Rs 75,577 crore from the erstwhile AP. That means the Telangana government's debt was only Rs 1,49,873 crore. The government used this loan amount as an investment cost for construction of projects.
"When we look at the debt ratio in GSDP, 22 of the 28 states in the country have more debt than our state. While our state's debt ratio to GSDP is 23.5 per cent, the country's debt ratio in GDP is 50.4 per cent. In any case, the state debt is within the FRBM limits. Ignoring this fact, some people are spreading misinformation about the state's debt in order to denigrate our state,” Rao said....