Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 5 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy on Friday, countering an accusation by Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, said the borrowings of the state government have been higher than the budget estimates due to COVID-19 pandemic.
"The income of the state has decreased while the expenditure has increased in light of COVID-19 pandemic. The economy of the state has been severy hit by the pandemic. This has been the trend not only in Andhra Pradesh, but in all states of the country, and for that matter all over the world," Reddy said.
He added that the Union government has also recognised this problem. That's why the central government has increased the borrowing limit of the state to 5 per cent on GDP from the earlier level of 3 per cent.
"Some states decided to reduce expenditure as there was no income. But our Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy decided not to reduce the aid to the public. That's why the welfare schemes are being continued. The payments to welfare schemes are through DBT. So, they are transparent and there is no way of any corruption in those schemes," Reddy further added.
Hitting out at Chandrababu Naidu, he said, "He had ruined the state's economy during his five-year tenure from 2014 to 2019. The then TDP government has taken borrowings indiscriminately and spent them aimlessly, causing an increase in revenue deficit.
The Finance Minister further claimed the state's revenue is increasing and the fiscal deficit is decreasing in the state, though not to the tune of the budget estimate. (ANI)