Centre needs to help states more on financial front: Telangana CM
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao demanded on Tuesday that the Centre should either give powers to states to work out their own methods of revenue mobilisation or extend additional financial assistance to overcome the crisis arising out of nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
He pointed out that the country’s economy was struggling for the last few months before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), and the lockdown had further worsened the situation. “Unless the Centre takes corrective measures immediately, the country will be heading for a major economic disaster in the coming months,” he warned.
He said Telangana’s revenue for the whole of April was just Rs 1600 crore as against the state’s expected overall monthly revenue of Rs 15,000 crore for that month.
“We need Rs 3,000 crore only to pay salaries to the employees and pensions to the retired staff. How can we implement schemes like Rythu Bandhu (a welfare scheme for farmers)? The Centre has not given a single rupee additionally. Instead, it has imposed a cut of Rs 2,000 in the central devolutions,” he criticised.
The chief minister warned of an impending revolt from the states if the Centre refused to help them. “I am sorry to say that the Centre’s attitude is highly condemnable. We shall wait for a few more days and unless there is any response from the Union government, we will respond severely and take a strong stand at the national level,” he said.
He alleged that the Centre was collecting train fares from migrant labourers who wanted to return to their home states. “It has displayed its narrow-mindedness in levying Rs 50 additionally (apart from sleeper class fares) from each migrant labourer, though the Telangana government paid Rs 4 crore in advance to the railway to operate special trains. How can they be called special trains when they were lying idle in the railway stations?” he asked.
He said the central government should empower the states to revive their respective economy through additional resource mobilisation methods.