Hyderabad, March 16, 2022: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Wednesday demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao respond to the serious observations made by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) in its reports on State’s finances.
Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Wednesday, said that the CAG, in its audit report for the year ended March 2020, which was tabled in Legislative Assembly on March 15, has pointed out that the State Government has been spending public money without ‘adequate justification’ and without the approval of Legislature. The CAG, in Chapter 3 of the report said, “Budgetary assumptions of the State Government were not realistic during 2019-20 and control over the execution and monitoring of budget was inadequate. Supplementary Grants/Appropriations were obtained without adequate justification and in some cases, despite the Legislature not approving supplementary provision, expenditure was incurred.”
He said that the CAG has once again described the budgets of the TRS Government as unrealistic. “The CAG has mentioned that the budgetary estimates of the State Govt were ‘not realistic’. The word ‘unrealistic’ or ‘not realistic’ was used at least eight times in the 162 page report with specific references to the financial mistakes committed by KCR Govt. The CAG itself has advised the State Government “to take corrective measures for realistic estimation in future,” he said.
The Congress leader said it was not the first time when the TRS Govt was rebuked by the CAG. “While CM KCR has been making false claims of Telangana becoming the best performing economy, the CAG, the 15th Finance Commission and other financial firms have clarified on more than one occasion that TRS Govt was lying about the growth figures. He said that the GSDP growth estimates were based on wrong figures of revenues. The CAG itself had pointed out that the State Govt was counting even loans and borrowings as Revenues. In reality, Telangana is facing a serious financial crisis. It borrowed huge loans on higher interest rates and gave guarantees to various institutions. The situation is so worse that the CAG, in its report, specified that “the State Government was not fully disclosing all the Guarantees given by it to various institutions,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that the TRS Govt has been cheating the people by making hollow promises. CM KCR did not maintain the sanctity of the State Budget by not spending even 50% of the allocations on several welfare schemes. Referring to the observations made by the CAG in its reports, he said of Rs. 6,225 crore provided towards the Scheme for debt relief to farmers, only an amount of Rs. 213 crore was spent. Similarly, of Rs. 5,000 Crore provided towards construction of Two Bed Room Houses to the urban poor, only Rs. 550 crore was spent. He said the expenditure on education and health has drastically reduced in the last few years.
“Telangana is now an almost bankrupt State with loans of over Rs. 4 lakh crore. Any individual who understands the balance sheet will confirm that Telangana is completely mired in bad debts. The hard earned money being paid by people towards taxes will be used to pay heavy interest and installments of loans procured by CM KCR to build irrigation projects which benefited his contractor friends more than the common people. Therefore, it will take at least a generation (nearly 30 years) for the people of Telangana to come out of debts accumulated by the TRS Govt in the last 6-7 years,” Shabbir Ali said in his statement.
The Congress leader demanded that CM KCR respond to the CAG’s observations to give clarity on Telangana’s financial situation. Further, he advised the Chief Minister to implement the recommendations made by the CAG by adopting a realistic approach towards the State’s economy.