The white paper presented in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday (20 December) reveals a grim financial state for Telangana, indicating a total accumulated debt of Rs 671,757 crore.
The majority of this debt has been incurred over the past decade as reported by The New Indian Express.
The document underscores the need for Rs 159,940 crore to complete ongoing projects, with Rs 86,957 crore requiring allocation in upcoming budgets.
Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, also in charge of Finance, initiated a discussion on the white paper, stating its purpose as assessing the current financial situation and initiating corrective measures.
Vikramarka urged Opposition parties to collaborate for financial rectification, emphasising that the government views them as political opponents, not enemies.
The white paper emphasises the debt crisis facing Telangana, attributing it to the rapid accumulation of debt from off-budget borrowings.
The government pledges to enhance resources, channel expenditures towards poverty alleviation, and adhere to the six guarantees promised during the elections. Vikramarka criticised the previous government's reliance on Ways and Means and Overdrafts, terming their 10-year rule as "Aardhika Araachakam."
The Finance Minister called for an inquiry into irregularities in Mission Bhagiratha, besides highlighting concerns about the high interest rates associated with off-budget borrowings for various schemes.
He questioned the efficacy of the borrowed funds under the previous government, which witnessed a debt increase from Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 7 lakh crore in the last decade.
The white paper also draws a comparative analysis, pointing out that in the 57 years of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Rs 4.98 lakh crore was spent on Telangana's development, creating tangible assets.
In contrast, the last 10 years post the state's formation saw the debt skyrocket to Rs 671,757 crore with limited fiscal assets created.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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