Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister, Thangam Thennarasu, on Monday presented the State’s Budget for 2024-25, projecting a 9.7 per cent increase in revenue deficit and 15.55 per cent spike in fiscal deficit.

The State intends to borrow ₹1,55,584 crore in 2024-25, which will take the total outstanding borrowings, at the end of March 2025, to ₹8.33-lakh crore — up from ₹7.26-lakh crore, per budget estimate for 2023-24, marking an increase of 14.7 per cent.

Thennarasu blamed the Central government for its “step-motherly treatment” of Tamil Nadu. The Government of India, he said, “has completely forgotten the principles of co-operative federalism.” The central government, he said, “continues to stifle our state by exercising arbitrary and discriminatory control over our finances,” imposing “stringent conditions” such as restricting borrowings of States.

The minister also blamed the central government for the “inordinate delay” in approving funding for the Chennai Metro Rail projects, forcing the State government to spend ₹9,000 crore from its pocket.

Tamil Nadu’s ‘own tax revenue’ of ₹1.95-lakh crore for 2024-25 (₹1.70-lakh crore for 2023-24), includes ₹52,488 crore (₹45,492 crore) of VAT and excise on sales of liquor, for which the State is a monopoly.

Among the notable heads of revenue expenditure (₹3,48,289 crore) are ₹27,922 crore under the Chief Minister’s Thayumanavar scheme to help the vulnerable, ₹25,858 crore for water supply, ₹13,720 crore for women welfare, ₹2,500 crore for road development, ₹1,22,594 crore for salaries and pensions and ₹63,722 crore for paying interest on borrowings.