Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President Captain. N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday termed the State budget for 2016-17, presented by Finance Minister Eatala Rajender, as highly disappointing for almost all the sections of the society in the State. He alleged that the TRS Government was trying to mortgage people of Telangana to fulfill its poll promises.
Stating that by presenting this budget the State Government has thrown people of Telangana into a ‘debt trap’, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that even flagship schemes of the State Government were debt-based and no proper funds were allocated for those in planned budget. Taking a dig at the double bedroom houses scheme of the TRS Government he said, “As per government’s estimates, construction of one lakh 2BHK houses in Hyderabad would cost nearly Rs 7,500 crores and in rural areas it would cost Rs 5,000 crores. However, the state government did not allot a single rupee in the planned estimate, he lamented.
Raising severe objection over the policy adopted by government towards farmers, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that government has not allotted funds to completely waive off remaining dues. He said it was strange that the State Government was not willing to waive off remaining dues of crop loan waiver scheme while boasting of having a heavy budget of Rs. 1.30 lakh crore.
Moreover, for each scheme of the government, which was part of poll promises, State Government has no money to allocate and instead it wanted to borrow from central agencies like NABARD and others, said Uttam. He said, “By saying that money would be borrowed from central agencies for delivering the poll promises, it would be like throwing the State into a debt trap and mortgaging the people of Telangana.”
He said, “The people of the state have given this government a mandate for five years and it is throwing Telangana into a debt trap for next 20 years. People must think over this seriously and question the government.”
Speaking on the other poll promises and schemes of the government, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the budget speech did not mention anything about the 12 per cent reservations promised to the Muslims and Tribals in the State. He alleged that State Government had also disappointed Dalits in the state by not allocating anything for the 3 acre land scheme for Dalit families. He said, “Population of Dalits in the state is over 16%. Out of approximately 60 lakhs population of Dalits, only 2,000 families were given 3 acres land so far.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said the TRS Government was hesitant to adopt a realistic approach. “We clearly pointed out last year that Rs. 1.15 lakh budget was not realistic. Consequently, the government was forced to revise the budget estimates and in today’s budget speech the Finance Minister admitted that the budget for 2015-16 has been revised to Rs. 1 lakh crore. Cut by over 15% in the annual budget is a matter of shame,” he said.
He also raised doubts over the transparency in functioning of the government and said that there were severe irregularities in conducting tender auctions for Palamuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation project and other projects in the state. He said, “Tender auction was not conducted fairly and only few companies participated and benefited in getting the tenders.”
Replying to a query he said that State Government including Speaker S. Madhusudan Chary, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and other members in the Assembly had been behaving disgustfully with the opposition leaders. (INN)