Amid tight fiscal, Revanth Reddy, as CM of Telangana, tasked with delivering ‘6’ guarantees

Telangana's outstanding public debt is estimated to be Rs 3,57,059 crore, according to the Budget estimates 2023-24 which is 23.8 per cent of GSDP.

Hyderabad: Telangana PCC President A Revanth Reddy who is set to take over the reins of the state from Thursday will have a daunting task of making the bleak coffers ring to be able to fulfill the “six guarantees” that the Congress party gave during the run up to the recently concluded assembly polls.

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Besides, he also has many political challenges to confront.

The Congress’s robust campaign highlighting the six guarantees is said to have been one of the reasons for the party to mark its victory in the state. However finding the funds to fulfill them will be a herculean task.

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The most attractive among the “six” is free travel for women in Telangana State Road Transport Corporation buses.

Sources in the state government told PTI that according to a rough estimate, the RTC earns Rs 2,500 crore annually through women passengers. If the scheme is to be implemented, the Congress dispensation will have to replenish the same amount to the corporation which is reeling under accumulated losses of Rs 6,000 crore.

The RTC, which was limping with a debt burden, started booking operational profits after the present managing director VC Sajjanar took over in August 2021.

The party promised to waive up to Rs two lakh farm loan. The BRS government had budgeted Rs 21,000 lakh crore to waive up to Rs one lakh. As per the calculation, the Congress government needs to allot at least 35,000 lakh crore for the next five years to implement the farm loan waiver.

According to the state government statistics, as many as 42 lakh farmers were identified as beneficiaries during the previous regime for the crop loan waiver.

Similarly the grand old party promised to give Rs 15,000 to farmers and Rs 12,000 to farm workers under the Rythu Bharosa guarantee scheme per acre annually.

Under the BRS government’s Rythu Bandhu, farmers were paid Rs 10,000 annually.

The previous BRS government has paid Rs 72,000 crore under a similar scheme as Rythu Bandhu during the past five and half years, with 70 lakh farmers benefitting. The latest installment could not be released due to poll code.

the Congress party has to implement its scheme under similar parameters, it needs nearly Rs one lakh crore in the next five years.

Senior journalist and political analyst S Nagesh Kumar said the first challenge that Revanth Reddy will face is the implementation of the “six guarantees” and political challenges as unlike the previous government, the Congress government will have stronger opposition in terms of numbers.

Congress is forming the government after getting 64 seats in the November 30 polls. BRS won 39, BJP-8, MIM-7 and CPI-1.

“The first challenge that he is going to face is the implementation of six guarantees. Karnataka also said the same thing that they will implement immediately…The state is reeling under a debt of Rs 5 lakh crore.

The Centre has steadfastly refused to increase the borrowing limits under FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003).

Nagesh Kumar further said Reddy will face strong opposition within the congress party as well from the opposition on fulfilling the poll promises.

According to the Telangana budget 2023-24, the total revenue was pegged at 2.16 lakh crore while the revenue expenditure was at 2.12 lakh crore.

Telangana’s outstanding public debt is estimated to be Rs 3,57,059 crore, according to the Budget estimates 2023-24 which is 23.8 per cent of GSDP.

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