‘Centre treating states like beggars': Telangana CM KCR lashes out at COVID-19 package

"This is pure cheating. Betrayal. Jugglery of numbers. All gas. The Centre has reduced its own prestige," KCR said.
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Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday lambasted the Narendra Modi-led union government over the fiscal stimulus package, accusing it of treating states like 'beggars' and imposing 'laughable' conditions for increasing borrowing limits under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act. 

"This is pure cheating. Betrayal. Jugglery of numbers. All gas. The Centre has reduced its own prestige," he said.

Terming the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package as a "blatant fraud," KCR described the package as 'hollow' and '100 percent bogus'.

"As a state government, I feel very pained. I really feel sorry. This should not have happened. Can this be treated as a package?" he asked.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief said that the package was totally against the spirit of federalism. "It is atrocious and totally feudal. We did not ask for this package," he said.

KCR alleged that the Centre is trying to dominate the states. "The Prime Minister talks of cooperative federalism. With this package, this has proved hollow and bogus."

He said the state governments were also constitutional governments and not subordinates. "All said and done, we also run governments; constitutional governments. They are not subordinates. The states have more responsibilities directly to the people than the Centre," he said.

Citing the opinions of international journals of Singapore and Japan, KCR said they were asking if the package was aimed at reviving GDP or was it just a jugglery of figures. He pointed out that the Centre had not given even Rs 1 lakh crore.

He said when coronavirus completely destroyed the world economy, the states were seeking some cash in their hands so that the same can be passed on to the people in different ways.

KCR found fault with the Centre laying down conditions to raise FRBM limits for the states from 3% to 5% and reminded that even the loans have to be repaid by the states and the Centre would not give even a penny.

"It is very unfortunate that the Centre is pushing for reforms holding a knife at the state governments' throats," he said.

He said if the conditions laid down by the Centre for reforms in various sectors were implemented, it would impose a burden on people.

"It is pathetic that the Centre should insist on states implementing the reforms in four sectors to qualify for increased borrowing in these times of pandemic. Is the Centre giving some charity?" he asked.

IANS and PTI inputs

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