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Telugu Desam has wrecked economy: Rosaiah

By Our Special Correspondent


HYDERABAD, JUNE 23. The erstwhile Telugu Desam Government came in for a rather sharp attack by the Finance Minister, K. Rosaiah, in the Assembly on Wednesday for ruining the State's economy in spite of inheriting one of the fast growing economies when it took over the reins in 1994. It had failed to create any major assets during the last nine years, nor facilitated the establishment of any new major industrial project or completed any new major irrigation project. On the other hand, many large and medium industrial projects in the State were closed down, causing loss of employment to lakhs of industrial workers.

Presenting the annual budget for 2004-05, Mr. Rosaiah said amid frequent protests from Telugu Desam benches that the State had a net revenue surplus (of Rs. 232.34 crores), a positive asset-liability ratio and a State with a large industrial and scientific research base when the TDP came to power for the second time. "Embarking upon highly lopsided and fanciful policies, the past Government has led the State into a high level of indebtedness in less than nine years."


The Finance Minister said that borrowings going up to the tune of Rs. 57,588 crores, a figure that is estimated to reach Rs. 66,392 crores at the end of 2004-05 fiscal. But, the fact that the Government spent only Rs. 22,276.44 crores on capital expenditure bore ample testimony to the mounting unproductive expenditure of the State Government. Further, in spite of having raised Rs. 1.66 lakh crores as tax revenues during the last nine years, the State still suffered a huge cumulative revenue deficit of Rs. 21,721 crores for the period. As a result, a large share of borrowings, essentially meant for creating new assets, had gone into meeting the revenue deficit.

Continuing in the same vein on other issues like the State's solvency, the fall in GSDP growth rate to 2.43 per cent, the non-completion of the prestigious Telugu Ganga project, he said that even the APSRTC and APSEB, which were earning profits during 1990-95, had ended up in huge losses in spite of regular tariff hikes.

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