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‘Fiscal discipline a must for you too’, YSR Congress tells Centre

VIJAYAWADA: Taking strong exception to the remarks of Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar likening the financial position of Andhra Pradesh with that of Sri Lanka, the ruling YSR Congress on Wednesday hit back at the Centre asking it to look after its own financial position.

“Does the Centre need not have financial discipline?” they questioned and said Andhra Pradesh is utilising every rupee of the loan it takes for good.

YSRC MPs Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy, Talari Rangaiah and N Reddeppa, speaking to the media in New Delhi, said that it was inappropriate that the financial situation of the State was compared with that of Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka is a country and it has its own reasons for the economic situation there to crumble. It cannot be compared with that of a State,” the MPs averred.

To buttress their argument, the MPs listed out figures, including exports, GSDP and others. “The exports of Sri Lanka have come down in the past three years, while Andhra Pradesh’s have increased,” they said, adding that the State’s GSDP is far better than that of the island country.

“Sri Lanka’s GSDP is USD 81 billion while Andhra Pradesh’s GSDP is USD 160 billion. It shows that our GSDP is double than that of a country,” they claimed.

On the loans taken by the State, the YSRC members said, “We cannot compare between a State and the country. In fact, the Centre is taking more loans than the State. The debt to GDP ratio in Sri Lanka is 101 per cent, while AP’s is just 32.4 per cent. In comparison, the Centre’s debt to GDP ratio is 59 per cent.”

“The Centre’s debts have reached Rs 133 lakh crore and it is better for the government to look after its financial position. The remarks of the Union Minister are condemned by all and the Centre should stop misleading people with its false claims,” they said.

Further, the MPs asserted that the State government is accountable for every rupee it is spending.