HYDERABAD: Faced with criticism for not fulfilling poll promises of crop loans waiver, a key poll promise that had helped TDP to come to power, the cash-starved Andhra Pradesh government has decided to raise loan amount through six options, including issuing bonds and pledging lands of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited (APIIC).
After receiving a severe setback from the RBI on rescheduling the crop loans, the finance department is examining various options that could help in bailing out the government.
According to AP social welfare minister R Kishore Babu, the state government has decided to raise the loan amount through six options, which include sale of seized red sanders, imposing excise duty surcharges, pledging APIIC lands, imposing cess on quarrying of sands, issuing bonds and through relaxation of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) norms and finally through public contributions.
He said by relaxing FRBM norms the state can increase its borrowing capacity up to Rs 26,000 crore and added that the state government was in touch with the Centre to direct the RBI to relax the FRBM norms. Similarly, through the sale of red sanders seized by the forest department over the years, the government is expecting a revenue of Rs 2,000 crore, he said.
Huge stocks of the sandalwood logs, about 11,000 tonnes, have got piled up at various stock yards of forest department in the state which was being put for auction.
The global auction of the red sanders is scheduled for October 10. The preliminary process of getting permission for the sale and calling for global tenders has already been initiated and is in progress, he said.
The minister said the government was contemplating to impose surcharge on excise duty and use the surplus revenue for raising the loan amount. Another option which the state government was considering was to impose cess on quarrying of sands, he said and added that through excise surcharge and sand quarrying cess substantial amount could be raised.
The minister said his government was also thinking of issuing bonds to farmers as part of its effort to waive the crop loans. ‘’Through all these options we are confident that we would be able to raise substantial amount to pay the crop loan and other loans promised by our party during the polls,’’ he said.
Explaining about the work undertaken by his department during the last 100 days, the minister said this year the state government would issue venture capital to about 1.25 lakh SC entrepreneurs under the credit guarantee scheme.
As part of its effort to provide health facilities to all, the government would be issuing health cards to over 1.85 lakh students staying in 1440 SC hostels in the state. ‘’We would see that every SC student is covered under the government health scheme,’’ he remarked.
He said in the last 100 days the state government had constructed four SC hostels at a cost of Rs 46 crore. The state government has issued post-matric scholarships worth Rs 89.56 crore in the last 100 days, he said.
The state government was taking initiative for implementation of 100 per cent sanitation programme in the state, he said.