Does Telangana face funds shortage?

The announcement of the Telangana state budget came as something of a surprise to most, when it was revealed that little or no allocation was made for Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s flagship projects, the Mission Bhagiratha water grid and the 2 BHK Housing Scheme.

The lack of funds for the water grid comes at a time when much of the state is reeling from a massive water shortage. Though two perennial rivers flow through the state, the tragedy is that most of Telangana state doesn’t have access to clean drinking water.

The Chief Minister announced the Telangana water grid project with the promise of providing a sustainable and permanent solution to drinking water woes in the state.

The objective of the water grid project is to provide 100 litres of clean drinking water per person in rural households and 150 litres per person in urban households. This project aims to provide water to about 25,000 rural habitations and 67 urban habitations.

While there was no budget allocation for the water-grid project, the housing department received a meagre Rs 860 crore for building 2BHK houses in the state budget.

According to Telangana party leaders, these two schemes are the main reasons behind the recent victories of TRS party in the civic polls.

The Telangana government claims that they haven’t allocated budget to these projects as they would be funded by loans from banks and other financial organisations.

The Water Grid project (Mission Bhagiratha) and 2 BHK houses would be funded by money borrowed from banks and other financial institutions. As all these schemes will be funded, no budget has been allotted to these. Funding organizations like Hudco and Nambard and banks like Bank of India and Canara Bank are giving loans for these schemes. For the Water Grid project Nabard is providing the loans and Hudco is providing the loans for 2 BHK houses.

Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender to media

‘Punitive Budget’
Observing the growth rate of the state government, these funding organisations came forward and offered loans.
Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender to media

Opposition parties, however, are not convinced. Krishna Saagar Rao, spokesperson for the BJP, said that the TRS government has transformed Telangana from a revenue-surplus state to a revenue-deficit one in just 2 years’ time.

The result of full-blown misgovernment is a steep rise in the fiscal deficit from -9000cr to -23000cr. CM KCR couldn’t even allocate funds to his pet projects like Bhagiratha, Kakatiya and 2BHK. BJP considers this as a punitive budget for people of Telangana.

Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender to media

The Congress spokesperson, Sravan Dasoj, similarly called the budget an “illusionary budget, to create camouflage and political gains.”

He accused the government of misleading people with the claim of a growth rate of 11 percent, “when 75 percent of agriculture is destroyed, many industries have been closed due to which there is not much productivity. They have somehow cooked up a number and represented the growth rate. The two major programs of TRS which has brought TRS into power has not been allocated any budget which is very unfortunate and disappointing to the people.”

Credits The Quint

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