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Show off by TRS Govt will harm Telangana: Shabbir Ali

Hyderabad: Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir warned that the show off and insane borrowing of loans by TRS Government would hurt the interest of Telangana State.
Initiating the debate on State Budget for 2016-17 in Telangana Legislative Council on Wednesday, Shabbir Ali accused the TRS Government of being unrealistic in dealing with State’s finance. He said as against the budget of Rs. 1 lakh crore for 2014-15, only Rs. 62,000 Cr were spent. Similarly, Finance Minister Eatala Rajender presented a budget of Rs. 115,689 Cr for 2015-16. After one year, he himself admitted that the estimations were unrealistic and they have been revised to Rs. 100,062 Cr. Consequently, almost 14% of the budget was reduced. Plan allocations for many departments were cut off and about Rs. 6,255.14 Cr allocated for Social Services were cut.
“Why are you so obsessed with flashy figures like Rs. 1 Lakh Cr. Your tall claims of Telangana being the richest State in India has only caused damage,” he said.
Shabbir Ali also disputed the projections of Telangana achieving growth rate of 11.7%. He said that the figure was based only on advance estimates and not actuals. He said economic experts have projected this figure to be just 6-7% and the projection of 8.6% national growth too is being intensely debated by experts. He advised the State Government to adopt a realistic approach while addressing financial matters.
The Congress leader strongly criticised TRS Government’s decision to borrow huge loans for Mission Bhagiratha, 2BHK Housing and also for establishing power plants. He said borrowing of Rs. 40,000 Cr for Mission Bhagiratha and Rs. 15,000 Cr for 2BHK Housing in a single year would violate the FRBM norms as both are non-revenue generating projects and there are no returns on capital amount. He said after the moratorium period of two years, the Telangana State would be forced to spend Rs. 7,000 Cr annually on interest and re-payments of these loans.
Further, State Government is arranging loans of nearly Rs. 91,000 crore for different power projects. Instead, he said the government should concentrate on getting 4000 MW NTPC power plants approved by the Centre under AP Reorganisation Act. Further, he said the cost of power production in plants being launched by the State Government would be too high due to use of imported coal as fuel. While it would cost Rs. 5 per unit for these plants, the Centrally-sponsored plants would cost only Rs. 2 unit per unit.
H said that the Congress party was not against Mission Bhagarita, 2BHK housing or power projects. But State Government should give a clear-cut picture on its plans on their repayment. “Whether you will seek Grand-in-Aids from Central Government or increase taxes to pay interest and repay these loans?” he asked.
habbir Ali alleged that the State Government has completely neglected the agriculture sector. He expressed concern over reduction in net irrigated area by huge proportion. The area under food grains has come down from 26.13 Lakh Ha in 2014-15 to 20.46 Lakh Ha in 2015-16. As against the overall production of food grains including cereals, millets and pulses of 72.20 Lakh Ha in 2014-15, it has come down to 49.35 lakh hectares in 2015-16. The production of rice has come down by 34%, Maize by 30%, Cereals & millets by 33% and pulses by 5%. This Rabi season is likely to be even worse due to decrease in cultivation area by almost 49% with 5.32 Lakh Ha as against normal area of 10.08 Lakh Ha, he said.
e demanded that the State Government take immediate measures to address the deteriorating situation as nearly 70% of State’s population depend on agriculture. He said hundreds of farmers committed suicide and their families did not get required help. In 2014-15, State Government did not declare drought hit mandals. In 2015-16, 231 mandals were declared drought hit. As against the relief of Rs. 2,515 Crore sought by the Telangana Government, Centre provided only Rs. 791 Crore. “How do propose to fill this gap? No provision has been made in this year’s budget to help the drought-affected farmers,” he said while insisting that the government clear off all pending dues of crop loan waiver scheme in single take this year.
e also demanded revival of Nizam Sugar Factory and other sick units in the State. Further, he said that the NRI Cell should be strengthened to impart skills among children of farmers who visit Gulf countries on various jobs.
habbir Ali also criticised the TRS Government for burdening the common people with a power tariff hike of Rs. 2,000 Cr and another Rs. 3,000 Cr towards Fuel Surcharge Adjustment.
he Congress leader said not a single head under welfare sector, including SC, ST, BC or Minorities, registered 100% spending during the last two years. He said it was meaningless to allocate huge funds and do not spend them.
peaking about minorities welfare, Shabbir Ali said not even 50% of budget allocated for Minorities Welfare was utilised during the last two years. Despite giving an assurance in the House that the unutilised budget would be carry forward, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao allowed the funds to lapse in 2014-15. Similarly, Deputy CM Mohammed Mahmood Ali assured that Rs. 350 crore would be allocated additionally for construction of 70 English Medium Minorities Residential Schools. However, those funds too were included in the regular Plan for minorities welfare this year.
habbir Ali said while replying to Motion of Thanks on Governor’s Address in Legislative Council, the Chief Minister has given a road map to provide 12% Muslim reservation. However, he said that the government showed no seriousness in defending the case of 4% Muslim reservation in Supreme Court. He strongly objected to the non-presence of any representative of Telangana Government in the Supreme Court when the matter came up for hearing on February 29.
e also slammed the State Government for ignoring the health sector. He said last year only 11% of the allocated budget was spent on the sector while almost all public hospitals in the State are suffering from shortage of doctors, medicines and equipment. He also asked government to clarify the status of Osmania General Hospital and Chest Hospital. He said as per MCI norms, about 13 PG seats would be lost if OGH is shifted.
habbir Ali questioned the State Government’s authority to change laws through GOs. “Telangana is the 29th State of India and not a separate country. Only Parliament and Legislature are empowered to enact and amend laws. Telangana Government was reprimanded by courts on more than 10 occasions for its attempts to change the laws through GOs,” he said. He also pointed out that earlier ministers used to be very careful while making speeches in the House. However, under TRS Rule, ministers appear to have absolutely no fear or respect for Legislature and they are making false and misleading statements.
While hoping that the State Government spends entire Rs. 1.30 lakh crore of the allocated budget, he feared that this time too, the budget would prove to be non-realistic and the government would not be able to spend more than Rs. 1.05 lakh crore. Therefore, he said that the Congress party rejects the budget for being unrealistic. (NSS)