Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s special secretary (finance and economic affairs) Duvvuri Krishna on Thursday, condemning false news making the rounds on the state’s finances, said the total debt of AP was Rs 6.51 lakh crore and not Rs 10 lakh crore, as was being claimed by the Opposition.
"In 2014, when the Telugu Desam government came to power, the total loans were Rs 1,53,346.80 crore, but by the time the previous TD government stepped down, the loans had increased to Rs 4,12,288 crore and in these four years, i.e. as of March 2023, the total state debt reached Rs 6,51,789 crore," he said at a press meet.
Krishna alleged that Opposition-affiliated media houses, particularly vernacular newspapers, were trying to tarnish the image of the Andhra Pradesh government through false propaganda on its finances.
Debunking the allegation of increased liabilities under the YSRC government, he said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its annual report ‘State Finances – A Study of Budgets,’ estimated the total outstanding liabilities of Andhra Pradesh at the end of March 2023 at Rs 4,42,442 crores.
Krishna said, "The outstanding liabilities of the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh on March 31, 2014, was Rs 1,96,202.40 crore. To this, Rs 7,333 crore is added as this is the fiscal deficit for the first two months of the 2014-15 financial year. Of this, 58 per cent, as per the State Reorganization Act, is devolved to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh."
"The liability of AP at the time of the formation of the TD government in June 2014 was Rs 1,18,051 crore and the same increased to Rs 2,64,451 crore as of March 31, 2019. The TD government was in place till almost the end of May 2019 and in the first two months of the 2019-20 fiscal, the government borrowed another Rs 7,346.56 crore, swelling the liabilities to Rs 2,71,797.56 crore during its tenure end."
Krishna said, "The liabilities increased by 169 per cent during the five-year TD period. This translates to a compounded annual growth rate of 21.87 per cent from 2014-19. Comparitively, the outstanding liabilities increased by only 58 per cent during the four years of YSRC rule from 2019-23, translating to a compounded annual growth rate of only 12.69 per cent. In 2018-19, the revenue deficit was Rs 13,889 crore, which was 1.59 per cent of the GSDP. The average of revenue deficit to GSDP during the five-year TD rule was 2 per cent."
"Due to global economic slowdown and Covid-19 pandemic, borrowings to fund revenue expenditure has gone up substantially due to a significant increase in the need for revenue expenditure and the fall in revenues. Despite this, the present Jagan government has managed to bring down the revenue deficit to Rs 8,370.51 crore in 2021-22," he said.
Krishna pointed out that the per capita debt, as per a CAG report to the legislature in March 2023, was Rs 70,416 as of March 31, 2022. "The per capita debt at the time of bifurcation of the state was Rs 23,326. The same increased over the five-year TD rule to Rs 50,157, which shows more than doubling during the TD regime," he said.