Hyderabad, May 31: Former minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was punishing the government employees and pensioners for his own wrong economic policies and mismanagement.
Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Sunday, said that the KCR Government has pushed the Telangana State into a deep financial crisis and a huge debt trap. “Telangana had a huge revenue deficit by the end of February this year, long before the imposition of lockdown due to Coronavirus. As against the Budget Estimates for 2019-20 of total receipts of Rs. 1.37 lakh crore, the actual revenue was just Rs. 1.15 lakh crore by the end of February 2020. This includes borrowings of Rs. 26,559 crore. As per the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) report, the fiscal deficit was of Rs. 26,599 crore. The business was as usual in the first three weeks of March. Therefore, it is wrong to blame the last week of lockdown for the present financial mess,” he said.
The Congress leader blamed the indiscriminate loans taken by State governments for various projects for the present crisis. “The Telangana Govt spends Rs. 22,393 crore on Salaries/Wages; Rs. 9,122 Crore on pensions and Rs. 5,855 Crore on Subsidy every year. But, according to the Chief Minister himself, the State needs to spend Rs. 37,000 Crore towards loan repayments and interest. As per the CAG report, Rs. 11,856 Crore were spent this year towards interests on various loans taken by the government. Consequently, he said now the State is forced to cut down salaries and pensions to ensure repayment of borrowed loans and their interest,” he said.
“The data released by the Central Government for the last quarter of the financial year 2019-20 clearly shows that the entire economy had a downward trend. TRS Government has tampered with the statistics to show fake numbers of growth and highlight Telangana as the richest State. This was done to cover up the huge loans which were taken at abnormally high-interest rates in the name of various projects. Interestingly, Telangana Govt was unable to pay full salaries and pensions to its employees in the same month when it declared itself as the fastest growing State in the country,” the Congress leader said.
Shabbir Ali said it was highly regrettable that Telangana was apparently the only State in the country which has imposed a cut on pensioners’ pay for the last three months. “Pensioners are elders with most of them having old-age related diseases. They solely depend on their pensions to meet the daily expenses and every penny counts for them. A major share of their pension amount goes towards purchase of medicines. But KCR Govt has turned so inhuman that it announced a pay cut by 50% in pension for the months of March and April,” he said.
He pointed out that the High Court has passed strictures against the State Government and even asked it to have mercy on pensioners. However, KCR has turned so arrogant and merciless that despite High Court orders he again announced a cut in pensions by 25% for the month of May, he said.
Shabbir Ali demanded that KCR Govt stop punishing the employees and pensioners for its own financial misdeeds and pay full amounts. Further, he asked the Chief Minister to clarify as to when the deducted amounts would be cleared.