Freebies burden forces Telangana to hunt for funds
With the increase in financial burden due to distribution of freebies, including the financial help under Rythu Bandhu scheme, Telangana state...
Hyderabad: With the increase in financial burden due to distribution of freebies, including the financial help under Rythu Bandhu scheme, Telangana state government has launched a hunt for funds to meet the growing expenditure in the current financial year which is also crucial for the TRS government ahead of next elections likely to be held early 2019.
Besides seeking funds from the domestic banks and RBI through bonds, the state government has come out with the proposal to seek the support of ADB, World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and other external agencies for the implementation of the infrastructure projects. The government is also approaching autonomous central agencies for support to enforce community-based flagships programmes like sheep and milch cattle distribution.
Top officials said that even though Telangana registered 19 per cent growth in the revenues generated through taxes and also maintaining fiscal discipline in 2018- 19 , the abnormal increase of the scheme expenditure after the launch of series of programmes mainly Rythu Bandhu, farmers insurance scheme, Kanti Velugu and proposed salary hike for government employees under new Pay Revision Commission brought the state under financial duress.
The new schemes have put Rs 2,000 crore additional burden on the state exchequer every month. For the welfare programmes, the government has already requested the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCRC) to extend Rs 1,000 crore under sheep distribution scheme and other community-based schemes launched by state-owned Backward Classes Federations recently.
In addition to the schemes, the government has also proposed to take up a slew of huge infrastructure development programmes aiming to give a facelift to Greater Hyderabad at the cost of Rs 45,000 crore by constructing skyways, flyovers, stormwater drains and so on. In other urban areas also, the government has chalked out action plan to develop them at the cost of Rs 10,000 crore. For this financial year, it required at least Rs 15,000 crore to execute the projects. Officials said that the government is holding talks with international lending agencies to pool funds. The government is pursuing with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and JICA seeking funds for infra projects.
The government got some temporary relief though commercial bank loans to complete the irrigation projects and Mission Bhagiratha and two-bedroom housing schemes. The government has also relied on Reserve Bank of India in the emergencies. To meet the increased financial needs post the launch of farmer welfare and community development schemes, the only option before the government to complete the new infra projects is to seek assistance from external financial institutions.
Officials said that the government expected the total revenues will cross over Rs 1 lakh crore and the scheme expenditure will go up to Rs 1.5 lakh crore with the inclusion of more number of schemes this year. The only option before the government to meet Rs 50,000 crore additional expenditure is to knock the doors of international funding agencies.