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Buggana blames TDP regime for financial mess

VIJAYAWADA: Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath reiterated that the previous TDP government’s lack of planning and coordination with the Centre had thrown the State finances into disarray.

During his reply to the general discussion on the budget in the State Assembly on Friday, he said soon after taking over the reins of the State in 2019, the YSRC government had started efforts to rectify the financial chaos and at the same time it had to deal with the Covid pandemic.

Unlike the previous TDP regime, which was massively engaged in publicity and hyperbole, the YSRC government was grounded in reality and strove for improving people’s living standards. “They had borrowed without limit and pending bills had mounted in an unprecedented manner,” he observed.

Buggana said as the government started setting right the wrongs done by the previous regime, Covid struck and for the next two years, it was engaged in saving people and their livelihood.“From the beginning, ours has been welfare agenda and manifesto is the guiding force. In fact, this has become handy during Covid. There is not an iota of truth in the claims of the Opposition that there has been more expenditure and less revenue,” he asserted.

Elaborating further, he said the State’s GSDP at current prices in 2019-20 stood at Rs 9,25,000 crore (5.97%) and it increased to Rs 13,17,000 crore (16.22%) in 2022-23, which is a three-time growth.

“Our focus has always been agriculture and farmer welfare. More so during Covid pandemic. Unlike other States, we have allowed farmers to work taking every precaution to safeguard their lives and health. This resulted in increased foodgrains production. Similarly, manufacturing industry was allowed to function during lockdown and most importantly, money was infused into the people’s bank accounts through welfare schemes for ensuring their purchasing power was maintained,” he said, and added all these factors had contributed to scripting a growth story, which is visible today.

Giving point-by-point rebuttal to TDP member Y Sambasiva Rao’s criticism during the budget discussion, the Finance Minister said only the standard growth principle has been applied while projecting the growth and nothing has been exaggerated or falsified.