HYDERABAD: Telangana state has completed seven years of its formation and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, seven years in power on Wednesday.
Though the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government made rapid strides in agriculture, irrigation, power, industries sectors, welfare schemes etc in
the past seven years, it is facing a major challenge of keeping state
finances in order due to the Covid-induced financial crisis in its seventh
On the political front, TRS and Chandrashekar Rao emerged stronger by
sweeping Graduate MLC polls, Warangal, Khammam corporation polls and
Nagarjunasagar bypoll recently though they faced minor setbacks in GHMC
polls and Dubbak bypoll in 2020-end.
The government is now struggling to fund its welfare schemes and development programmes forcing the state Cabinet to take a decision on May 30 to sell off government lands and housing board houses and flats to raise at least Rs 30,000 crore this year.
Telangana state came into existence on June 2, 2014 as a 'revenue-surplus
state' giving ample scope for the Chief Minister to spend over Rs 50,000
crore on welfare schemes per year and launch a slew of development projects by spending lakhs of crores of rupees.
In the process, Chandrashekar Rao created a record of making Telangana the
only state to provide tap water to every household through Mission
Bhagiratha, 24×7 free power supply to farmers, 10,000 per acre per year to
60 lakh farmers totalling to over Rs14,000 crore per year towards Rythu
Bandhu, Rs 5 lakh free insurance for farmers under Rythu Bima, Rs 2,000 crore per year for Aasara pensions, Rs1 per kg rice, Rs1 lakh financial assistance to perform marriage of daughters under Kalyana Laxmi and Shaadi Mubarak with an outlay of Rs 2,750 crore, distribution of sheep and the list goes on.
The government could spend nearly Rs 1 lakh crore for Kaleshwaram, the world's largest lift irrigation project in just two years. In the agriculture sector, Telangana witnessed phenomenal food grains production of over 1 crore metric tonnes and stands second only to Punjab in the country.
However, Covid outbreak and subsequent lockdown since March 2020 has pushed state government into an unprecedented financial crisis for the first time after formation of the state. It fell short by nearly Rs 50,000 crore in
achieving its budgetary target of Rs 1.83 lakh crore in 2020-21. Despite this,
the government presented an ambitious budget of Rs 2.30 lakh crore for 2021-22 with a belief that Covid would subside but the second wave and subsequent night curfew, lockdown since April 20 added to the financial woes of state government.
Though the Chief Minister announced new PRC for government employees from April, it could not be implemented so far due to fund crunch causing
resentment among staff. Bills worth Rs 25,000 crore are pending with the
treasuries department for want of funds.
The government is relying on auction of bonds for now to run the show. It
already raised Rs 3,000 crore in April, Rs 3,500 crore in May and Rs 1,000 crore on June 1 amounting to Rs 7,500 crore in the very first three months of this fiscal.