The Andhra Pradesh government seems to be broke with a budget deficit of Rs 17,784 crore. Yet, populist desperation seems to be prompting the Kiran Reddy government to pay up for former chief minister, the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's schemes which are a major drain on the state.
YSR’s fee reimbursement scheme for students belonging to the backward classes will cost the state Rs 3,500 crore. Dues amounting to Rs 6,000 crore have piled up so far.
Around 685 private engineering colleges are demanding a hike in tuition fees, which will raise the subsidy amount further.
The state Finance Department has raised objections saying that it cannot bear the additional cost.
“The chief minister wanted to implement the scheme and I could not say no to it,” Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy said, implying that he would have to cut somewhere to furnish funds. Kiran Reddy government had paid the dues of around Rs 5,300 crore from 2008 to 2012.
Kiran Reddy, on his “Indiramma Bata” tours of districts has been announcing various schemes in districts, officials do not know where the money will come from.
For the Rajiv Yuava Kiranalu employment training programme for youth, the government earmarked Rs 1,500 crore this year, but hasn’t been able to raise enough funds.
Schemes which are a major drain on the state are: Arogyasri: This health insurance scheme for BPL families will cost the state government Rs 927 crore.
It will reimburse patients who go to corporate hospitals for treatment.
Rice scheme: The price of the rice reduced from Rs 2 to Re 1 by Kiran Reddy government is costing the exchequer Rs 2,600 crore.
The government is on a drive to weed out bogus household cards so that expenditure can be curtailed.
Jala Yagnam Programme: This massive programme to construct 85 major and minor irrigation projects with an estimated cost of Rs 1.4 lakh crore has failed with the government able to sanction only Rs 4,000 crore yearly.
The unfinished irrigation projects have become dead capital for the government