Senior economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Congress leader Praveen Chakravarty meet Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and Deputy CM Mallu Bhatti VIkramarka on Saturday
Senior economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Congress leader Praveen Chakravarty meet Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and Deputy CM Mallu Bhatti VIkramarka on SaturdayExpress

'Telangana's debt-to-GSDP ratio is around 50 per cent'

Praveen Chakravarty: "It is shocking that the situation is worse than even Bihar, whose debt-to-GSDP ratio is around 22%.”

HYDERABAD: The Telangana government is likely to go in for a vote on account this Budget session, which will most likely begin this week. The Budget preparation exercise has been underway with Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka holding department-wise meetings and brainstorming with officials.

In this regard, on Saturday, a team comprising senior economist and former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, chairman of the party’s professionals’ wing and data analytics department Praveen Chakravarty, and former CBDT member Arbind Modi held a nearly three-hour-long discussion with Chief Minister

A Revanth Reddy and Bhatti Vikramarka. They discussed ways to mobilise resources and revive growth so that the government can put the economy back on track and implement the six guarantees.

Speaking exclusively to TNIE, Chakravarty said they were surprised to find that the finances of a rich state like Telangana were in doldrums and added: “The state’s debt-to-GSDP ratio is around 50%. It is shocking that the situation is worse than even Bihar, whose debt-to-GSDP ratio is around 22%.”

The other surprising part was that the share of revenues, including the state’s own as well as that from the Central pool, accounted for only 13% of the GSDP, Chakravarty noted. Even Ahluwalia was surprised to find that the state’s finances were in such bad shape, he added.

To a query, Chakravarty replied that they will even consult former prime minister Manmohan Singh if necessary to take his advice on reviving the state’s economy.

He clarified that no politics was involved and the meeting was held purely to help improve the state’s financial situation. At the meeting, Revanth came up with ideas to generate revenue such as promoting solar power generation and consumption.

Bhatti Vikramarka was also keen on receiving new ideas and setting politics aside to take the state forward.

The team will be holding further discussions with the state government and offer its advice. A full-fledged state Budget is likely to be presented in June or July after the Lok Sabha polls.

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