Over burdened with several financial welfare schemes, unnessasary expenditures, long pending projects huge loans and more monetary benefits to leadership makes the state in deep financial crisis.

In June 2014, Telangana was bubbling with optimism for the future. It had a bright future since it obtained authority of its own “neellu, nidhulu, and niyamakalu” (water, money, and employment). “Once we obtain control over our own revenues – revenues generated from Telangana and notably from Hyderabad – it would be incredibly easy to turn Telangana into Bangaru (Golden) Telangana,” Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), who was elected as Telangana’s first chief minister, told voters.

Bangaru Telangana will have a Super Specialty hospital in every district, as well as 100 and 30 bed hospitals in each Assembly district and mandal, ensuring that even the state’s most impoverished citizens could receive quality healthcare. Telangana children would receive a free education from kindergarten through graduate school (KG to PG), all while receiving the greatest nutrition at school. The government will construct pucca double-bedroom houses for them, so no one will have to live in a kuccha house.

Everyone would find employment without having to leave Telangana, making economic migrations to neighbouring states and the Gulf nations and leaving behind family at home a thing of the past. Ample free land would be given to socially and economically underprivileged groups, farmers would receive free fertiliser, and traditional crafts would flourish. Bangaru Telangana can be achieved with ease; all it requires is KCR’s capable, selfless, and committed leadership. KCR agreed.

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Telangana believed KCR. Everyone knew Telangana was rich in resources and revenues. It had Hyderabad, a very well-developed metropolitan capital city with an international airport, a Railway Zone, a Metro and an ORR. It had well-developed Pharma, Media, Movie and Information Technology industries that were globally renowned. It had great educational institutions and universities like Osmania, HCU, JNTU, IIT, NIT, IIIT etc. It has many Central government research institutions like NIN, CCMB, apart from ICRISAT and PSUs like BHEL and Defence establishments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accepted the Fourteenth Finance Commission’s recommendation to increase the states’ share of central revenues by almost a third – from 32% to 42% of the central government’s tax revenues. Path-breaking reforms in the form of GST increased the Telangana government’s revenues even further. People handed KCR an even bigger mandate four and a half years later, believing Bangaru Telangana needed a little bit more time.

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Little did the people of Telangana suspect the rude shock that awaited them: the grave financial crisis. A weeklong lockdown necessitated by the Covid pandemic resulted in Telangana cutting salaries and pensions for its employees. Even today – a year after India’s economy came on track post-Covid, the Telangana government is unable to pay salaries to its employees on the first of the month.

Telangana’s coffers were drained empty. Official debt as mentioned in the budget books when combined with off-budget borrowings, and dues payable to public sector units like Singareni, Electricity DISCOMS etc., amount to around Rs 5 lakh crores. That’s almost one lakh twenty-five thousand rupees burden per person – including infants.

The KCR government in its thirst for revenues had promoted liquor consumption, unmindful of the consequences on public health. It earns upwards of 30,000 crores of revenue per year from liquor alone.That’s almost 60,000 per family – assuming only half of Telangana’s families have someone who consumes alcohol.

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It charges the highest taxes on petrol and diesel. It has increased land valuation to increase stamp duty collection. It has raised prices on electricity and public transport (RTC) – becoming one of the highest-taxed states in the country.  

It’s not just the employees who are suffering from this financial crisis. Students with a pathetic state of infrastructure and food in schools, the unemployed as well as government employees and pensioners are facing uncertainty over salaries. Panchayat presidents are left with unpaid bills; farmers are waiting for promised debt relief.

The sick are not reimbursed for their medical expenses. Welfare system aspirants and beneficiaries, like the 2BHK and Dalitha Bandhu hopefuls, must wait an eternity for benefits. The KCR government’s financial mismanagement and poor leadership have a negative impact on almost every aspect of Telangana society. Unfortunately, with the TRS government in charge, there doesn’t seem to be much relief in sight for the state’s “on the edge of default” financial condition. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hydlive