Nirmala rejects accusation of injustice towards Telangana

Hyderabad: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, asking the TRS about the allegation that the state contributes more than it receives from the Centre, asked if the same applies to Telangana.

She said Hyderabad contributes 55% of state revenue. When the state government undertakes a project in Adilabad, will it display a banner stating that the project funds are funded by the taxpayers of Hyderabad? The Union finance minister said that if every state in the country says it has contributed an amount and should get the same back, that is not how the principle of taxation works, adding that such conduct of regionalism is good for rhetoric, for media consumption and for keeping the political temperature high. But, it’s “regressive” and “dishonest,” she said.

The Union Minister said that as a representative of the people she had everything to ask of the District Collector and that she did not use any objectionable language or was discourteous to the District Collector during of his visit to a public distribution store.

On the issue of labeling systems, she said the TRS government labels core systems as its own.

Also, if the state government has borrowed funds or spent from its own state resources on a project, “we have no objection” to having a name of your own. But, you can’t change the name of a central system (whatever its part), you can’t call it your system,” she said. Refuting that the Center discriminates against Telangana in disbursing funds, she said the Center has brought reform configuring the disbursement of regime funds through digitalization.

At the time the State deposits its share in the scheme, the Center and State shares would be disbursed digitally. Apart from that, the Minister indicated that the deconcentration of central taxes is done on a monthly basis according to the formula of the Finance Commission. There is no possibility of discriminating against or favoring another state. Because, “everything is done according to the system in place”, she says. In addition, the revenues collected are used to finance education, road infrastructure and hospitals for which they are collected. Although the Center collects them, they only go to the United States, she said.

The minister said state borrowing from the budget will affect the state, and many off-budget borrowings are not informed to the people and the legislature.

Sources of off-budget borrowing through quasi-governmental organizations show that borrowing is increased beyond their ability to pay, she said.

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