Former Andhra Pradesh chief secretary and Bharatiya Janata IYR party leader Krishna Rao on Tuesday expressed concern over the growing state debt burden under YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s regime.
Krishna Rao said the current state debt burden has already amounted to over Rs 5 lakh crore, including borrowing from the previous Telugu Desam party government.
âThe Jagan government continues to borrow loans from left, right and center and it is unclear how long that would depend solely on the loans. The government should be clear about how much money it would borrow and how it would repay the loans. He must have a plan of action to repay the loans, âsaid the former chief secretary.
Stating that Jagan indulged in indiscriminate borrowing only to bolster his personal image, Krishna Rao said that there was no planning or strategy for the Jagan government in matters of financial management, as a result of which the State has plunged into a deep financial mess.
âIf all the loans are spent only on social assistance programs, what about infrastructure development? The government does not even have the money to repair roads and buy basic surgical equipment in public hospitals. The state cannot compete with the Center in terms of development, âhe said.
The retired bureaucrat said 35% of budget allocations would go to salaries and pensions, in addition to debt service.
“In the future, there may not even be money to pay salaries,” he warned.
Stating that spending for social assistance schemes was not a crime, Krishna Rao said that it should not exceed 10 percent of the total budget.
“The government does not have a magic wand to do what it has promised,” he said.