HYDERABAD: The four-day debate on the Budget ended on Saturday with the government allaying the fears of increasing debt burden putting pressure on the state exchequer. The government painted a rosy picture of the state finances even as the opposition tried to pick holes in the Budget.
The opposition, however, cried foul as deputy speaker M Padma Devender Reddy adjourned the House without giving an opportunity for them to register their protest after Finance minister E Rajender gave clarifications on the issues raised by the opposition members. “This amounts to curtailing the voice of the opposition,” they rued.
Replying to the debate, Finance minister E Rajender said Telangana is second only to Chhattisgarh in the list of states with least borrowings.Rajender said the total debts of Telangana State was only 16.1 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), which was Rs 5,22,021 crore in 2015.
The borrowings of Chhattisgarh was 14.3 per cent of the GSDP, whereas the debt burden of neighbouring AP was 20.8 per cent. Bihar has borrowed 23.8 per cent of GSDP, while Goa has 30.5% and Kerala 17.3 pre cent debt burden.
He clarified that the financial closure of Rs 91,500 crore done by the TS Genco, for achieving 23,000 MW installed power capacity, need not require counter guarantee by the state government.
Rajender also presented figures from 2004-05 to 2015-16 comparing the ten years Congress rule of combined AP and the 20 months rule of TRS government. “We have spent more money for roads, welfare and other developmental activities during the last 20 months compared to the amount spent during the regime of previous Congress governments,” he claimed.
The finance minister said that the amount spent on welfare activities in 2010-11 was Rs 2,518 crore, whereas the TRS government has spent Rs 11,392 crore on welfare in 2015-16 was and the budget estimates for 2016-17 were Rs 16,169 crore.
Rajender also pointed out that 3,530 km road works were sanctioned during the 10-year Congress rule, while the TRS government sanctioned 995 km roads during the last 20 months. The 10-year Congress regime had sanctioned 17 ROBs or RUBs, but the TRS government sanctioned 15 bridges in the last 20 monts, he claimed.
However, Opposition leader K Jana Reddy wanted the government to talk about the expenditure of the Budget 2015-16.
Rajender said that as per the report of the Auditor General, the expenditure up to December 2015 was Rs 66,464.78 crore and exuded confidence that the government would spend Rs 1 lakh crore by the end of financial year as per revised estimates.
On the revision of 2015-16 Budget from Rs 1.15 lakh crore to Rs 1 lakh, Rajender said no government would spend budget allocation completely. “The budget expenditure was 67 per cent in 2008-09 and 88 per cent in 2007-08. We will spend 86.5 per cent in 2015-16 Budget,” he said.
As the opposition members contined to press for clarifications, Padma Devender Reddy adjourned the House for Sunday.
Two Bills Introduced in Assembly
Hyderabad: Two Bills were introduced in the state Assembly on Saturday. The Bills on Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2016 and The Telangana Municipalities (Amendment) Bill 2016 were introduced by legislative affairs minister T Harish Rao on behalf of municipal administration and urban development (MAUD) minister K T Rama Rao. The Andhra Pradesh Municipalities Act was adapted to Telangana state vide notification issued in GO 142 of MAUD dated October 29, 2015 in exercise of the powers conferred by section 101 of the AP Reorganisation Act 2014 and to facilitate regularisation of unauthorised buildings, building constructed in deviation of sanction plan, the Act has been amended subsequently. To be in conformity with the observation made by the High Court as regard the subsequent amendments made to the adapted Act, it has been decided to make amendments to the said relevant section by introducing the Bill.