KTR Demotivated On Finance Commission’s Recommendation
TRS working President KTR opposed the NK Singh-headed 15th Finance Commission's recommendation to decrease devolution, terming it as "penalizing, dis-incentivizing and demotivating" for well-performing southern states like Telangana.
The minister also reminded the center to deliver on its legal commitments and ensure that the GST compensation is paid. The reduction in devolution to 41% from 42% earlier will lead to an up to Rs 4,000 crores hit to Telangana, said Rao.
On the GST compensation payment, he said that the 14 percent revenue compensation is embodied in the Act and is a commitment made by the Union while passing the law.
KTR also pitched for leeway in fiscal responsibility targets for well-performing states. "We should be given more leeway. Right now it (fiscal deficit) is about 3.5 percent for Telangana. It should be 5 percent," he said.
We want it to be increased and we are allowed to borrow more. You can stipulate a condition that whatever you borrow, you have to put it in the productive sector. Don't spend it on freebies, we are ready to do that, he said.
He also alleged that the Union Finance Ministry's Department of Economic Affairs does not allow the states to borrow directly from foreign investors and underlined that the Union government should play the role of enabler for states.
Rao ruled that the “congruence” between states and the center is missing and warned that goals like USD 5 trillion economy will be difficult to achieve sans that.
He also questioned the need to have sectors like education, healthcare and agriculture in the concurrent list, demanding that states should be given the leeway to decide for themselves on such aspects where local factors play an important role.
The minister said we need to focus on infrastructure, innovation and inclusive growth to achieve economic growth, and urged the center to emulate efforts undertaken in Telangana in these areas.
He also sought for regulatory changes to ensure that Indian pension money needs to be invested to create infrastructure, just like how overseas money from Canadian pensioners gets invested.
KTR urged the tech world to develop solutions for the real sector, and he also said that the state wants to create two varsities dedicated to pharmaceuticals and aerospace.