Amaravati, Feb 6 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday dismissed the allegation of opposition that his government made the state debt-ridden.
Replying to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s address in the state Assembly, he claimed that his government implemented welfare schemes and took up development activities with financial discipline despite adverse situations like Covid and inheriting ‘strained’ and ‘complex’ status from the previous TDP rule.
He said the debt of residual Andhra Pradesh which stood at Rs 1, 53,000 crore, including all types of loans at the time of bifurcation, had gone up to Rs 4,12,288 crore in 2019 when the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) came to power.
“Now, the total debt stands at Rs 7, 03,000 crore which clearly indicates that the growth rate of debt during the TDP rule stood at 21.87 per cent, while it stands at 12.13 per cent during the last five years,” he said.
He mentioned that the YSRCP government rolled out DBT (direct benefit transfer) welfare schemes worth Rs 2,55,000 crore and non-DBT welfare schemes worth Rs 1.07,000 crore. The previous government too had the same budget but it could not deliver welfare as the difference speaks in the commitment of the Chief Ministers then and now, he remarked.
Jagan Reddy also dismissed former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s tall promises ahead of the elections, saying the leader of opposition carries the blemish of dumping manifesto into the dustbin while YSRCP treats it as a holy book.
“Braving the odds of reduction in devolution of Central funds and reduced tax revenues during the last five years due to several reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in Rs 66,116 crore revenue loss, the state government has excelled in fiscal discipline, debt management, and planning and implementation of slew of welfare schemes transparently,” he claimed.
The Chief Minister recalled that the state was bifurcated in an ‘unjust’ manner, allocating 50 per cent of the revenues to Telangana that represented 42 per cent of the population and the remaining 50 per cent to residual Andhra Pradesh that has 58 per cent population, causing the state a yearly revenue loss of Rs 13,000 crore.
Coming down heavily on Chandrababu Naidu for making ‘false’ election promises for political gains, he said fulfilling the promises will require more than Rs 1,26,000 crore annually.
“When we are striving hard to implement DBT and non-DBT welfare schemes worth around Rs 70,000 crore annually, how can Chandrababu Naidu mobilise Rs 1,26,000 crore on his false promises,” he asked.
“Like a copycat, Naidu made a mix of six election promises, picking them up from the election manifestos of other parties that won in other states with a view to cheat the people again,” the Chief Minister said.
Debunking the theory of wealth creation advocated by the ‘TDP-friendly media’ for implementing the ‘impractical promises’, the Chief Minister asked why Naidu failed in creating wealth during his earlier tenures.
“While Naidu stands for lies, this government stands for credibility,” he said, adding that the TDP was shown the door in 2019 with just 23 seats as people understood his (Naidu’s) nature of telling lies and cheating the people.
Asserting that Naidu only pursued the policy of plunder, stash and devour during his rule, the Chief Minister appealed to the people to think over why the TDP leader failed to implement even a single welfare scheme during his rule even though the budget was the same.
“Like a old hungry tiger, Naidu has been throwing the bait to the people with false promises to cheat them once again,” Jagan Reddy said, adding that people still remember how Naidu defaulted on the loan waiver of Rs 87,612 crore.
“I sat in the Opposition for five years for not making the false promise of farm loan waiver prior to the 2014 elections, but I have no regrets for that. I only make promises that can be fulfilled for the benefit of the people,” he said, asserting that YSRCP has won a permanent place in the hearts of the people with its credibility.
“Despite the heavy financial odds, we have implemented more than 99 per cent of our election promises, and our credibility will ensure that YSRCP makes a clean sweep in the elections and introduces the full-fledged budget in the Assembly after three months,” the Chief Minister said.