MADURAI: AIADMK lacked financial-management skills and didn’t implement schemes that were initiated during its reign, while the DMK has initiated schemes properly, said Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Sunday, dismissing claims by AIADMK leader RB Udhayakumar. He was speaking to the media after a special event to distribute welfare schemes to disabled people in Madurai.
“We are working to fix the massive deficit created over the past eight years by 2024-25. That apart, with proper financial management, action is being taken to initiate new schemes including the breakfast scheme, which is currently under a pilot mode and will soon be extended Statewide. With proper financial management, we have brought down the State’s revenue deficit from 4.61% to 3.35%,” he said.
On the recent allegations made by Udhayakumar that the DMK has stopped several schemes initiated by the AIADMK, PTR said, “I was shocked to see a former minister like Udhayakumar raise meaningless statements with false details on a public platform. He said that by raising the EB tariff and property tax this year, the DMK has brought down the deficit in the State. I was speaking about last year’s deficit... How can changes made this year impact last year’s deficit? Also, the hiked EB tariff goes to Tangedco and the property taxes go to the rural/urban/municipal bodies’ revenue, which does not add up to the State revenue. Udhayakumar made false statements without a basic understanding of finance.”
As for the allegations of the DMK stopping schemes initiated by the AIADMK, PTR said that in the five years of the AIADMK’s reign, owing to funding issues, students were not given laptops for two years, but the present government has restarted laptop distribution. “The AIADMK failed to provide gold or funds under the Thali Thangam scheme for four years owing to a fund crunch, and kept backlogs. We, on the other hand, took the initiative to use the allotted Rs 698 crore on a special scheme to help girls pursue higher education,” he added.
“As mentioned in the white paper report, the AIADMK government, without proper knowledge about fund management, took loans of almost Rs 30,000 crore above the allotted limit, which led to a revenue deficit of 4.61% for the State. The Union government, instead of taking action, supported them to take more loans. The funds were not used for initiating schemes either,” PTR added, and said the AIADMK stopped the two-wheeler scheme and other schemes owing to a fund crunch.
He added, “The DMK government has taken several thousands of crores less than the allotted loan last year, and will take even less next year. From 2003 to 2014, the State did not have any deficit each year. But from 2014, the State deficit started rising and went up to Rs 62,000 crore during the pandemic.”
Responding to a statement raised by AIADMK leader Sellur Raju, PTR said the government has recruited more DVAC officials and equipped them to function effectively.