HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government in his Independence Day address for allegedly diluting the nation’s federal spirit and running down welfare schemes of States by terming them “freebies”. Addressing people from Golconda Fort after unfurling the national flag on the occasion of the 75th I-Day celebrations, Rao said that public welfare is the main responsibility of governments. On one hand, the Centre was not fulfilling that responsibility properly. On the other insulting welfare schemes are provided to the poor by branding them as “freebies”.
The Modi government, said Rao, was acting against the federal spirit and centralising powers. It had made a mockery of the provision of the Constitution that “India is a union of States”, Rao alleged. He accused the Centre of plotting to weaken States economically and imposing indiscriminate taxation on citizens. The CM called upon people to be alert and thwart attempts of disruptive forces promoting religious hatred.
Rao elaborated in his speech that the Centre had been collecting huge revenues in the form of cess rather than taxes with the “malicious intent” of reducing the share given to States. The Centre was denying a fair share of 41 per cent of taxes to the States. Due to the cess and other forms of indirect taxation, it had denied about 11.4 per cent of its revenue to States in 2022-23 which was gross injustice, said the Chief Minister. He also found fault with the Centre’s decisions such as reduction of FRBM limit.
Rao went on to say in his speech that the Centre was taking decisions on various subjects without discussing them with States. Thereafter, States were being pressurised to implement them.The Chief Minister cited the example of the Farm Bills which led to country-wide protests by farmers, forcing the Prime Minister to publicly apologise and withdraw the draconian laws.
Centre burdening middle-class, poor with taxes, says KCR
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also criticised the Centre for the recent changes in GST rates. Starting from milk for infants to construction of crematoriums, the Central government was levying taxes everywhere, putting a huge burden on the poor and the middle-class, the CM opined. Owing to the Centre’s inefficiency, prices of essential commodities were sky-rocketing. The value of the rupee in the international market was at an all-time low and unemployment was increasing. But the Centre was trying to cover up its failures by dividing people along the lines of religion, he said.
Denouncing allegations on State debts, Rao explained that as per the Centre’s officials, the total debt of Telangana for the year 2019-20 was `2.25 lakh crore as against `75,577 crore debt inherited from the undivided Andhra Pradesh after the State’s formation in 2014. The State government’s debt was `1,49,873 crore since 2014, which was spent as capital investment for construction of projects, creating infrastructure and providing basic amenities, he said.
10 lakh new Aasara pensions
On the occasion of Swatantra Bharata Vajrotsavalu, the Chief Minister said his government will extend an additional 10 lakh Aasara pensions to eligible beneficiaries. This is in addition to the 36 lakh pensions already being provided by the State.
Aasara to dialysis patients
The CM also declared that Aasara pensions would henceforth be extended to the kidney patients who are dependent on dialysis at regular intervals.
The State government has allocated `17,700 crore this year for the Dalit Bandhu scheme, which is aimed at providing 1,70,700 Dalit families `10 lakh to take up any business of their choice. The government will provide the Dalit Bandhu benefit to two lakh families this year.
Earlier, the Chief Minister paid tributes at the War Memorial at Parade Ground in Secunderabad and reviewed a parade at Golconda Fort.
CM to join mass rendering of national anthem
The State government will be organising mass rendering of the national anthem across the State at all important traffic junctions at 11.30 am on Tuesday, as part of Swatantra Bharata Vajrotsava Dwi Saptaham. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is also expected to participate in the programme at one of
the junctions in the city, most likely at Abids. All traffic signals would display the red signal at 11.30 am |
National anthem to be played at metro stations
The time of the singing of national anthem will be 52 seconds. The State government is making all arrangements for the mass rendering of the national anthem. Loudspeakers will be arranged at important junctions.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar inspected the arrangements for the mass singing of the national anthem at Abids, Necklace Road and other places. As a part of the State government’s temporary traffic stoppage and mass national anthem singing programme, Hyderabad metro trains would be stopped for a minute at 11.30 am on Tuesday and the national anthem would be played in trains and at metro stations. HMRL MD NVS Reddy requested commuters to stand up and join the mass national anthem singing programme.