- FM mentioned CM KCR 30 times and TRS 11 times in budget speech: Congress
Hyderabad, March 7, 2022: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has accused Finance Minister T. Harish Rao of turning the budget speech for the financial year 2022-23, which he delivered on the floor of Legislative Assembly on Monday, into a TRS pamphlet.
Reacting to Telangana’s budget for 2022-23, Shabbir Ali said that the Finance Minister displayed total immaturity and lack of economic-sense while presenting the annual budget. “Budget speech is an important document which gives a broader, but clear picture of State’s expected revenues from various sources in a financial year and how the government proposes to utilise those funds. Today’s budget speech did not address any of these two important elements – Revenue and Expenditure in proper form. Instead, it was full of rhetorics, false claims and misleading statements. Now it has been proved that Harish Rao does not understand a bit of economy and finance,” he said.
Shabbir Ali strongly objected to the use of the word ‘TRS Govt’ in the budget speech. “Harish Rao is the Finance Minister of Telangana and not just TRS. Instead of calling ‘Telangana Govt’ or ‘State Govt’ he mentioned it as ‘TRS Govt’,” he said while pointing out that Harish Rao mentioned “TRS Government” 11 times in his 76-page speech.
Further, Shabbir Ali said Harish Rao made a mention of CM KCR 30 times during his speech. But he did not mention unemployment or jobless youth even once. He also skipped the mention of issuing job notifications to fill over 1.92 lakh vacancies in various departments. He said Harish Rao falsely claimed that in the Panchayati Raj department all vacancies were filled up from the village to the highest level.
“As against the regular practice of specifying the allocations for each department or sector in the financial year, Harish Rao used jugglery of words to skip accountability. For instance, instead of mentioning the allocation for the years 2022-23 for Crop Loan Waiver scheme, the Finance Minister just mentioned that the State Govt has waived off loans of 5.12 lakh farmers in the second round of loan waiver. Loans upto Rs 50,000 would be waived off by the end of March this year and further, during the next financial year, loans upto Rs 75,000 would be waived off. But he did not mention the amount that will be spent for the same,” he said.
Further, Shabbir Ali said there was no clarity on the funds proposed to be spent for the Medical & Health and Education sectors. “CM KCR had promised that Rs. 10 Lakh assistance under the Dalit Bandhu scheme would be given to all 17 Lakh poor Dalit families in the State. But only Rs. 17,700 Crore have been earmarked in the budget for 2022-23 which could cover only about 10% of eligible families. Although the TRS Govt has a bad record of not spending 100% of allocations, it would take 10 years for the government to fulfill its promise even if it spends the entire amount at this rate. Further, the State Government must introduce similar scheme of giving Rs. 10 lakh assistance for Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, Minorities and other weaker sections if they meet the same eligibility criteria as of poor Dalit families. As per the Constitution, the State Government cannot show discrimination against any caste or religion in distribution of benefits from the State’s exchequer,” he said.
Similarly, he said no commitment has been made on spending for the Minorities Welfare during 2022-23 in the budget speech and Harish Rao confined himself to claim that so far Rs. 6,644 crore have been spent. As against Rs. 1,602 Crore allotted for 2021-22, only Rs. 1,728.71 Crore have been allocated this year. He said that the increase in allocation by about Rs. 126 crore was neither significant nor relevant as the TRS Govt has never spent even 50% of the allocated budget in the last eight years. He said that the Congress party would dig deep into the budget volumes to get the figures of allocations and their utilisation in the last nine budgets presented by TRS Govt.
The Congress leader said that Harish Rao lied about giving financial assistance to the families of farmers who committed suicide. He said Rythu Bima is a group insurance scheme which does not cover suicide. He said that more than 7,000 farmers committed suicide after TRS came to power in 2014. But none of the families got compensation of Rs. 6 lakh under GO 421 which was originally issued by previous Congress Govt and later amended by the TRS Govt. “Instead of mentioning that so far 75,501 families were given a benefit of Rs.3,775 crores, the Finance Minister must explain why Telangana is witnessing deaths of over 20,000 farmers every year,” he said.
“It is highly shameful that Harish Rao has turned the prestigious budget speech into a TRS pamphlet. There was no clarity on the revenues and expenditure or allocations for major sectors. The budget of Rs. 2.56 lakh crore is illusionary, based on purely speculative figures and very far from reality. Just like previous budgets, the overall spending on this budget will not be even 60-70% of original estimates,” Shabbir Ali said while announcing that the Congress party would continue to expose the economic failures of TRS Govt.