A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) revealed that the state government's welfare schemes have left the exchequer in deep debt.

Photo of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy sitting on a white chair
news Finance Monday, January 04, 2021 - 09:27

The Andhra Pradesh government's various welfare schemes have reportedly resulted in a huge debt on the state exchequer. The state government incurred a revenue expenditure of Rs 70,082.90 crore in the first eight months of the current fiscal year and most of them went towards the welfare schemes of the ruling YSRCP. The state’s gross debt burden has increased to Rs 3,73,140 crore by the end of November 2020, as per a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Here are five things to know: 

  1. According to a report by the PTI, from April to November 2020 alone, Rs 73,811.85 crore was borrowed from different sources as against the state’s annual target of Rs 48,295.59 crore for the whole year.

  2. In the month of November alone, the government borrowed Rs 13,001 crore to foot the bill for its various welfare schemes.

  3. Against the targeted Rs 18,434.15 crore for the entire financial year, the revenue deficit shot up to Rs 57,925.47 crore by the end of November itself.

  4. The state government borrowed Rs 9,226.375 crore on an average per month so far during the 2020-21 financial year.

  5. The current borrowing trend indicates that the state government may raise a loan of at least another Rs 30,000 crore by the end of March 2021, taking the total borrowing to over Rs 1.04 lakh crore in the 2020-21 financial year, according to PTI sources. 

Andhra Pradesh’s debt burden was Rs 97,000 crore at the time of bifurcation in June 2014. In five years (till March 2019), it peaked at Rs 2,58,928 crore. Between April 2019 to November 2020, Rs 1,14,212.81 crore was taken as loan from banks and other sources, with Rs 1,06,866.25 crore of it secured by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy regime since June 2019.

Earlier, the Jagan Mohan Reddy regime had imposed taxes and cess totalling around Rs 21,000 crore on people, citing shortfall in revenues due to COVID-19 induced lockdown. Despite the lockdown during the first quarter of the fiscal, the state's revenue touched Rs 46,589 crore by November, just about Rs 4,500 crore short compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

The state also got Rs 8,000 crore extra in grants from the Union government compared to the corresponding period. The government created a new entity called the State Development Corporation exclusively to raise loans and it so far secured Rs 10,000 crore from SBI, Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank.

The administration is waiting for the SBI to release another tranche of Rs 3,000 crore loan as yet another cycle of welfare schemes start with the Rs 6,500 crore ‘Amma Vodi’ scheme, under which over 43 lakh mothers would be paid Rs 15,000 each for sending their kids to school.

But only Rs 14,000 will be actually paid to the mothers as the government will deduct Rs 1,000 towards a Toilet Development Fund.

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