Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s government had nailed the previous Telugu Desam Party’s government for mismanagement and mishandling of State finances. The new government, which had released a white paper on the State finances on Wednesday, blamed the successive governments for not making productive investment over the years to get additional revenue. The State’s finances were not invested in infrastructure and human resources development to increase the revenue, the government said.
The government also pointed out that there was no financial discipline and no control over the expenditure. The non-productive expenditure coupled with the excess borrowings have pushed the State into major debt trap. Further the government had gone violating the Fiscal Regulations and Budget Management Act 2005, increasing the borrowings and thus lowering the revenue gap. The State now has the obligation to pay more of its revenue towards the borrowings than has something on hand to invest.
The new government had blamed the successive governments for their failure to utilise the economic reforms that were introduced in the country in 1990s. The country as a whole and some states have benefited out of the reforms, while AP never utilised it to attract greater investment in the human resources and infrastructure development. However, the government has, as expected, highest regard for the tenure of late Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, between 2004 and 2009, who had invested the State finances on infrastructure development such as irrigation projects, which resulted in additional revenue from the agriculture sector. According to the new government, Andhra Pradesh had seen a surplus revenue of 7 per cent during Dr Rajasekhar Reddy’s regime, which had slowly gone deficit several times.
However, the government promised to write a new chapter for the State by providing an inclusive governance for inclusive development. The government said its priority would be to take care of the citizens, giving highest priority for the neglected and vulnerable sections in the development and make people as productive forces.
It is to be seen how the TDP would react to this white paper, as it had released over a dozen such white papers initially in 2014 and again in 2018, ahead of the 2019 general elections.