Telangana budget let down people, says Harish Rao

Hyderabad: Reacting to the Congress government’s maiden state budget, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader Harish Rao described it as a “let down” to the people of Telangana.

State finance minister and deputy chief minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka presented the Vote-on-Account budget on Saturday, February 10 at the Assembly.

Harish Rao said that the promises made by the Congress party during the Assembly elections have evaporated in thin air.

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Rao, who was finance minister in the previous BRS government, warned the government to brace itself to face the ire of the farming community after the budget announced Rs 19,746 crore of which nearly Rs 3,000 crore would go for establishment charges such as staff salaries.

“The allocations made by him (Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka) to key sectors have exposed the gaps between the words and deeds of the ruling party,” Rao said.

“The government’s plan to waive farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh, and implement the enhanced Rythu Bharosa will sum up to Rs 40,000 crore and Rs 22,000 crores respectively,” he said, adding, “To fulfill such huge promises, the government can land into finance trouble.”

On Rythu Bhima, Harish Rao said that the government would require not less than Rs 82,000 crore to extend the cover to tenant farmers. “They are deliberately silent on the 100-day deadline which it had announced earlier for implementation of its guarantees,” he remarked.

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On the provision of 24-hour power supply to farmers, Rao said that the government has failed in its promise. “This will impact the trust of the farming community,” he said.

On the Aasara pension scheme, Rao said that the pensioners have so far received Rs 2,000 instead of the promised Rs 4,000.

Lastly, taking a dig at Chief Minister Revanth Reddy’s statement, “We are servants engaged in people’s service”, Rao said that Reddy was present only on day one. “After that, we never saw him interacting personally with the people,” he said.

Concluding his statements, Rao maintained a large amount of money would be required to fulfill the poll promises made by the Congress to the people of Telangana.

“This means the government might either increase taxes or find other sources of revenue,” he said.