BJP silent on rising debts in Gujarat
Hyderabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) leaders leave no opportunity in criticizing Telangana’s debts and in propagating Gujarat’s so-called model of growth and development across different platforms. Fact remains that Gujarat is actually plagued with escalating debts. And this precarious situation is reflected in the annual budget presented by the State Finance Minister Kanu Desai in the Assembly early this year.
In 1995, when the BJP government came to power in Gujarat, the public debt was about Rs.10,000 crore. When Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister in 2001-02, the debts had reportedly increased to nearly Rs.45,301 crore.
By the time his tenure was over in 2014, the total debt had escalated to Rs.2.21 lakh crore, as per Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) reports. Eventually, in 2021-22, these debts phenomenally increased to a whopping Rs 3.2 lakh crore.
Strikingly, the State’s debt is likely to escalate further upto Rs 4.5 lakh crore by the end of 2024-25. The CAG in estimates, reportedly tabled in the Gujarat Assembly, had even stated that the State would have to pay Rs.1.87 lakh crore by 2028.
Consider this. While, the BJP leaders, including the union Ministers go hammer and tongs against Telangana’s debts, they maintain a strategic silence about Gujarat’s debts or those of other BJP-ruled States.
During her recent visit to Telangana, the union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman too indulged in this rhetoric of highlighting and criticising Telangana’s debts but she preferred to maintained a studied silence on the rising debts of Gujarat.
She had even made a vain bid to mislead people claiming that every newborn in Telangana has a debt of Rs.1.25 lakh. The State Government did give a befitting reply with the Finance Minister T Harish Rao asserting that the per capita debt in Telangana was Rs.94,272, far lesser than claimed by the union Finance Minister.
Promoting the double engine governance model, BJP leaders defend that increasing debts of BJP-ruled States reflect growth and development in the respective States. But they deliberately do not to use the same logig when they talk about non-BJP ruled States. For instance, debts of Telangana – the youngest State in the country, are much lower compared to Gujarat’s ballooning debts.
While Telangana can boast of constructing Kaleshwaram – the world’s largest lift irrigation project and several other welfare programmes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, other States can hardly match Telangana in terms of implementing several welfare and development programmes.
What more, the Gujarat government’s claims about huge investments into the State during the Gujarat Global Investors Summit from 2003 to 2011 were also found to be false and misleading. The State Government had claimed to have bagged investments worth over Rs.84 lakh crore. Exposing these claims, the Gujarat’s Directorate of Economics and Statistics admitted that only about 8 per cent of the commitments made between 2003 and 2011 have been implemented.
Even these figures were far from reality. A study by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) reportedly put Gujarat’s share in actual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to India between 2000 and 2013 at only four per cent.
PostedOn: 20 Sep 2022 Total Views: 91