HYDERABAD: With the ever-rising petrol and diesel prices burning a hole in people’s pocket, Finance Minister Etela Rajender has demanded that the Centre reduce the excise duty on petroleum products.
“Both the Central and State governments are working for the welfare of the people. The Centre should consider the plight of the commoners and reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel,” he said.
Ahead of the completion of four years in office by the TRS government in the State, the Finance Minister had an interaction with Express Team here on Wednesday. Severely opposing any proposal to bring petrol and diesel under the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Centre, Rajender said: “Following introduction of GST, the only two items left with the State governments are liquor and petroleum products. If these too are brought under the purview of GST, the States will find it difficult to augment their revenues. The hands of the States will be tied. So, the Centre should reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel,” he explained.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said development of States would lead to development of the country. If the Centre reduces excise duty and spares the States, the States will develop which will, in turn, spurs development of the country,” the Finance Minister said.
He recalled that the TS government had supported introduction of GST with a rider that the new tax regime should not be detrimental to the interests of States.
Finance Minister Etela Rajender, who was active in Naxal movement before his entry into the TRS way back in 2003, said that the State government had outshone Naxalites in providing a people-centric governance by following “social agenda”.
“The main motto of Naxalites and communist parties is that the poor should have a square meal. The needy should have a house to live in and they be provided some extent of land to practise farming. Our government is pursuing this agenda by removing the cap on subsidised rice given to BPL people through fair price shops. We are providing three acre land to every eligible Dalit family, besides constructing double bedroom houses for the poor. So far, we have procured 14,000 acres of land by spending `5,000 crore,” he said.
Ahead of the completion of four years in office by the TRS government, Rajender interacted with the Express Team here on Wednesday. When Rajender was reminded about the promise made by KCR during statehood movement to implement the agenda of Naxalites in the state, Rajender replied that the TRS government had implemented many welfare schemes for the benefit of every section of people. “We are giving Aasara pensions. We have introduced Kalyana Lakshmi/Shadi Mubarak scheme for performing marriage of girls from poor families. We are providing fine rice to students in social welfare hostels. We have set up 564 residential schools and colleges for BCs and minorities. We have waived crop loans and water cess of farmers. Is any government in the entire country implementing so many welfare programmes for people?” he questioned.
As the TRS, which was floated to carve out a separate state of Telangana, was voted to power, the fledgling state got the opportunity to surge forward in various sectors within a short span of four years, the minister said.
“TRS is not a regular political party. Its journey began as an agitator. During the 14 years of final stage of Telangana agitation, we got the chance to know the sufferings of people of the region. As we formed the first government in the new state, we could take landmark decisions to undo the injustice done to people in the united state,” he claimed.
“Neellu, Nidhulu, Niyaamakalu (share in river waters, funds and jobs) was the tagline of the T-movement. We are constructing various irrigation projects to irrigate more area of land. Being a separate state, we are able to spend resources for the benefit of the state and we are also providing jobs to our own youth. All this is possible as one-time agitators have now become rulers in the state,” he remarked.
On Federal Front
After 2019 polls, coalition of various political parties will form government at the Centre. During that time, the Federal Front proposed by CM KCR will play a key role at national level.
On failure of
Prior to the 2014 polls, majority of people of the country were of the view that if Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, he would boost the country’s economy. But, Modi has disappointed all sections of people with his demonetisation move, which disrupted the economy and led to inflation in the country.
On wealth distribution
Concentrated economy leads to poverty in any economic system. That is the reason why our government is distributing the wealth to the public through various welfare and employment oriented schemes. The growth of economy is not mere growth figures of GSDP or GDP.
On Telangana’s achievements
Dispelling the doubts of Andhra politicos on the administrative capabilities of Telangana people, TRS has made the new state stand first among all states in the country in terms of development and initiating welfare schemes