Hyderabad, Oct.9 (NSS): Former Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir has ridiculed the logic used by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to claim that TRS Govt spent more on the welfare of SCs, STs, BCs and minorities compared to previous Congress Government.
“CM KCR made a statement in the Assembly claiming that TRS Govt has spent Rs. 74,165 Crore in the last seven years on welfare compared to Rs. 21,663 Crore by Congress regime from 2004-2014. This is a completely illogical, irrational and ridiculous method of comparing spending done in different periods of time,” Shabbir Ali said in a media statement on Saturday.
He said that the budget figures could not be taken at face value as they depend on several factors. “The first budget of Independent India, presented by the then Finance minister RK Shanmukham Chetty, was earmarked at Rs 197.39 crore. This year (2021-22) budget’s size is Rs. 34.83 Lakh Crore. Similarly, the budget of all States in the country was of a few hundred crores in the 1950s and it went on increasing ever after year due to an increase in revenues and other sources. Therefore, it is ridiculous for CM KCR to compare the figures of 2004-2014 with 2014-2021,” he said adding that the allocations depend on the actual size of the economy, annual budget, inflation and other factors. “Such illogical comparisons are done by people only when they are in an inebriated condition or they are participating in a ‘chabutra’ discussion,” he said.
“Unlike TRS, Congress Govts never manipulated budget figures to show fake growth. All statistics were 100% true and realistic and the allocated amounts were spent as per plan, without any deviations. The State’s Finances were handled by experts in a judicious manner and that was the reason why Telangana was a budget-surplus State with annual revenue of over Rs. 1 lakh crore at the time of its formation in 2014. But within seven years, TRS Govt has pushed Telangana is in a debt trap of over Rs. 4 lakh crore. Almost 15-20% of revenues, i.e., the tax-payers’ hard-earned money, is now being spent to pay huge interests and loan repayment and this will go on for over two decades,” he said.
The Congress leader said that the overall allocations for the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and minorities in the last seven years were of nearly Rs. 1.50 Lakh crore. Therefore, the Chief Minister should’ve explained why only Rs. 74,165 Crore or less than 50% of the allocated amount was spent. Instead of tendering an apology to the SCs, STs, BCs, minorities and other communities for not spending the full allocations, KCR is trying to make a false claim that his government was better than Congress,” he said.
Citing an instance, he said an amount of Rs. 11,054.11 Crore were allocated for minorities’ welfare from 2014-15 to 2021-2022. Of this, only Rs. 6644.26 Crore (nearly 60%) were released and less than Rs. 5,000 Crore were actually spent. Instead of apologising for not spending more than 50% of the allocation, KCR is trying to politicise the issue by claiming that he was better than the Congress party, he said.
“KCR lives in an illusionary world wherein he assumes that whatever he promised has been implemented. Unfortunately, he uses Assembly as a platform to propagate his false claims. KCR makes huge promises, extends benefits to 1-2% of people and then uses those pictures as publicity material to create hype that he has fulfilled the promise. He did the same thing with the promises on jobs, 2BHK, KG to PG free education and now doing the same thing with Dalit Bandhu scheme,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that the policies and schemes of previous Congress regimes were aimed at empowering the SC, ST, BC, minorities and other weaker sections. “We provided them free education and other opportunities to make them stand on their feet. The beneficiaries of Congress schemes later became proud citizens and tax-payers by becoming doctors, engineers and other professionals. They were provided loans, land and other incentives to encourage them to become entrepreneurs. They not only became self-employed but provided jobs to lakhs of others. But CM KCR wants to give a begging bowl into the hands of these communities,” he said while citing an instance that TRS Govt has spent Rs. 176 Crore to distribute Ramzan Gifts among poor Muslims, but spent only Rs. 27 Crore in the last seven years on the skill development programme for the minorities.
“Nearly 20 lakh poor Muslims, in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, benefitted and still benefitting from the 4% reservation in jobs and education given by the Congress Government in 2004-05. But the Muslims are still waiting for KCR to honor the promise of 12% reservation,” he said while challenging CM KCR for an open debate on the issue of welfare of all communities.