States raise issue of borrowing limit in pre-budget meeting

Tamil Nadu finance minister Thangam Thenarasu pointed out that because of the Centre’s diktat the state lost Rs 8,500 crore of borrowing space over the last four years.
In the meeting, most state finance ministers stressed the need for more funds for improvement of infrastructure in their respective states.
In the meeting, most state finance ministers stressed the need for more funds for improvement of infrastructure in their respective states.File Photo

NEW DELHI: Opposition-ruled states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala have again raised the issue of borrowing limits imposed by the Centre depriving them of necessary funds leading to liquidity crunch.

In a pre-budget consultation with the Centre here, Kerala finance minister K N Balgopalan requested that a special package of at least Rs 24,000 crore be announced in the Union budget 2024-25 to tide over the current liquidity stress the state is facing due to borrowing limits imposed by the Centre.

Tamil Nadu finance minister Thangam Thenarasu pointed out that because of the Centre’s diktat the state lost Rs 8,500 crore of borrowing space over the last four years.

In the meeting, most state finance ministers stressed the need for more funds for improvement of infrastructure in their respective states.

Kerala’s finance minister highlighted the urgent need for a special capital investment of Rs 5,000 crore for the state for fulfilling its part in the development of the Vizhinjam International Mother Port and the Port region. He also sought another Rs 5,000 crore for financing certain other infrastructure projects such as the ‘Tunnel Road link between Calicut and Wayanad’.

Odisha deputy chief minister Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo sought dedicated budget allocations and resources for large-scale infrastructure projects, such as industrial parks and corridors, electricity grids and railway infrastructure. Chhattisgarh finance minister O P Choudhary urged financial assistance for development of the state capital region — Nava Raipur — as an industrial hub.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the media that on the issue of devolution of taxes, most finance ministers agreed to raise the issue at the finance commission.

Demand to upgrade rail infrastructure

TN’s FM said the state faced step-motherly treatment from the Centre on railway projects. Similar concerns were raised by the Kerala FM. He said that there is an urgent need to upgrade the railway infrastructure and introduce a high-speed railway corridor

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