Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday alleged that the Narendra Modi government at the Center is conspiring to weaken the states financially.
He said that the central government is shifting taxes in the form of cess to deprive the states of the Constitutionally due share from the taxes levied by the Centre.
Addressing Telangana formation day celebrations, he said the Center has usurped lakhs of crores from the due share of the states.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, alleged that the Center is imposing various kinds of sanctions arbitrarily, undermining the economic freedom of the states.
He said the Center was asking the states to strictly abide by FRBM but it was indiscriminately resorting to borrowings without adhering to any rules.
“The Centre’s attitude has become a stumbling block for states like Telangana, which maintains financial discipline by managing loans and investment expenditure within FRBM limits. I demand that the Center immediately reconsider and lift the economic sanctions imposed on the states and stop any further violation of the rights of the states,” he said.
KCR said the Centre’s attitude towards Telangana state, which is working with financial discipline and prudence and well within the FRBM limits, was creating a major problem. Telangana state is losing Rs 5,000 crore every year as it refused to implement the anti-farmers power reforms of the Centre.
“In five years, the state lost Rs 25,000 crore. If we want these Rs 25,000 crore we have to install meters at the farmers well and collect the power charges. That is not our policy. The state is not to accept any policy that creates a burden on farmers. I will not accept these anti-farmer power reforms as long as I am alive. People’s welfare in the state is very important to me,” he added.
KCR also hit out at the BJP-led government for diluting powers and functions of the states against the spirit of federalism.
The government currently in power at the Center is based on the conspiratorial and frivolous principle of “strong Center – weak states” and that’s why the violation of the rights of the states has increased during its reign.
He said while many countries overcame monarchy and dictatorship to adopt parliamentary systems and increased public empowerment by decentralizing power, India has moved in the opposition direction. Even after 75 years, decentralisation of powers did not take place and to the contrary Authoritarian tendencies increased and power became more centralised. The federal spirit which should have expanded is shrinking.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief said when Telangana was a part of Andhra Pradesh the united rulers showed discrimination, now the Center showing the same attitude to the independent Telangana state. “It is unfortunate that the Center is discouraging the progressive and development oriented state. The discrimination started from the initial days of formation of Telangana,” he said recalling that even before the Telangana state celebrated its foundation day, the Center had merged seven mandals in Khammam district with Andhra Pradesh and as a result, Telangana lost the Sileru Power Project .
KCR said the Center did not pay heed to NITI Aayog, which recommended the Center to release Rs 24,000 crore funds to Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya schemes.
“I have personally made requests many times to the PM to grant additional funds to the new-formed state, which were all in vain. All are aware about the financial crises faced by our country due to Covid. In those difficult times too, the Center did not help the State with any additional funds. Moreover, it slashed the funds that are to be given genuinely to the State.”
The Center had declared nine districts as backward districts in the united AP but is now delaying funds to them.
The AP Reorganization Act had clearly stipulated that tax exemptions should be provided to allow more investments to the newly formed state but the Center had not given any incentives. All the promises made in reorganization Act such as Bayyaram Steel factory, Kazipet Coach Factory were consigned to the dustbin.
The Center did injustice to the state by not setting up an Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR). Had it been implemented, the state would have made more progress in the IT Sector. Directly and indirectly several lakhs would have got employment.
He also flaed the Center for delaying the delimitation of the constituencies in two states as clearly mentioned in the AP Reorganization Act.
He said Center miserably failed in procuring the paddy in Telangana state and it washed off its hands. “One Union Minister made sarcastic remarks on the issue saying let people in Telangana eat broken rice. Is there anything more arrogant than this? His comments have hurt the feelings of Telangana people.”
Stating that farmers in the country are not beggers, he said there should be a uniform policy on paddy procurement all over the country or else the farmers will hit the streets.
“I am once again reminding the Center not to provoke farmers in the country. I demand the Center to shun its pro-corporate and anti-farmer’s policies immediately,” he added.