Welfare is the responsibility of the governments; the Centre’s campaign against freebies is unfortunate: KCR

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has renewed his attack on the NDA government, alleging that the share of States in tax collections has come down significantly as the Centre is wresting the bulk of revenues by levying cesses.

“The States are expected to get a share of 41 per cent of the aggregate tax receipts by the Centre. But with the intention of reducing this share, the Centre is collecting revenues in the form of cesses and not in the form of taxes,” he said.

“People’s welfare is the primary responsibility of the Governments. The Centre has not only failed in honouring this responsibility but has begun insulting the poor by calling the welfare schemes freebies,” he said.

Addressing a gathering after hoisting the National Flag to mark the 76 th Independence Day at the historic Golconda Fort on Monday, he said that the effective share of States had come down by 11.4 per cent to just 29.6 per cent.

“The share of the States in the Centre’s tax receipts plummets to 29.6 per cent as against the judicious share of 41 per cent,” he said.

“As if this is not enough, the Centre is putting restrictions on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act limits, dealing a blow to the financial freedom of the States,” he said.

While claiming that they were upholding the spirit of cooperation, the Centre was usurping the powers of the States and resorting to centralisation of powers. “It is taking unilateral decisions with regard to the items in the Concurrent List without taking the opinion of the States,” he said.

The Chief Minister criticised the Centre for putting a heavy burden on the poor and middleclass by levying taxes on important commodities like milk consumed by children and the construction of crematoriums.

Refutes charges on debt quantum

The Telangana Chief Minister has refuted the claims by the Opposition on the quantum of debts that the State is saddled with. “The State’s debt as of 2019-20 is ₹2.25 lakh crore as against ₹75,577 crore that it inherited at the time of the State’s bifurcation in 2014,” he said.

“This means the State has only borrowed ₹1.49 lakh crore since the formation. We had used it for the construction of irrigation projects and infrastructure,” he said.

“Our debt is well within the norms prescribed by the FRBM Act. Of the 28 States, as many as 22 States are above us in taking debts if you take the GSDP:debt ratio. Yet, some people are resorting to mudsliding and blaming the State,” he said.