Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has hit out at the Narendra Modi-led NDA government over the fiscal stimulus package, accusing it of treating states like “beggars” and imposing “laughable” conditions for increasing borrowing limits under the FRBM Act.
“This is pure cheating. Betrayal. Jugglery of numbers. All gas. The Centre has reduced its own prestige,” he said while referring to conditions linked to the increased borrowing limits for states under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.
Citing international journals as having commented whether the Union Finance Ministers aim was to revive the GDP or to reach the Rs 20 lakh crore number (the stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi), he said.
“This is a very cruel package. It is fully in a feudal policy and dictatorial attitude. We fully condemn this. This is not what we asked for,” Rao, who had supported several measures taken by the Centre so far in the fight against coronavirus, said.
At a time when the finances of states were paralysed due to COVID-19 global pandemic, the state governments wanted funds to reach them so that they can help people in different forms, he said.
“When we asked for it, you treat states like beggars, what did the Centre do? Is this the way reforms are implemented in India?” he asked during an interaction with media on Monday after a cabinet meeting.
For example, two per cent increase under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act (about Rs 20,000 crore in Telangana) has been given. “But, the conditions put are laughable” and “very nasty” though the loan was to be fully repaid by the state.
Explaining, he said Rs 2,500 crore would be given if reforms were implemented in power sector and Rs 2,500 crore would be allowed if reforms in market committees as suggested by the central government are accepted.
“Is this a package? What is this? This cannot be called a package. Very sorry.. This is not the policy to be followed in a federal system… Then what the state governments are for?” the Telangana Rashtra Samithi supremo asked and said they were also constitutional governments and not subordinates. The CM said he felt anguished and the way the Centre was wielding control over states was against the spirit of federalism.
Prime Minister ji said cooperative federalism. This has proved that it is “totally hollow and bogus,” he said. The state, however, has already fulfilled certain conditions, he added.
On the occasion, Rao also outlined his governments certain policy guidelines for regulatory farming proposed to be implemented. On the additional water proposed to be drawn by the
neighbouring Andhra Pradesh from Srisailam project, he said there was no question of compromising on the states interests.
Flaying opposition criticism against his government for allegedly failing to protect the states interests, Rao said he had sought peaceful co-existence with all the neighbouring states.