Hyderabad: Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Rs 20 lakh crore package as 'bogus', 'gas' and 'jugglery of numbers', Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the Centre is blackmailing the state governments to implement anti-people policies.
"I had sought financial assistance in the form of cash. We wanted to transfer this cash to people to spur demand and boost the supply chain. But what we got in return was just loans from the Centre. Even to claim these loans, they have imposed conditions,” KCR told media persons.
The chief minister said he felt very sorry while going through the PM's package. “The conditions imposed on states are a big joke. It's like blackmailing states to implement the policies dictated by the Centre," he said.
KCR said the package is ''jugglery of numbers' to hoodwink the masses. “The package does not amount to even Rs 1 lakh crore in reality. An international journal has said PM's package is not going to help revive the battered Indian economy. PM has treated state governments as 'beggars'. Modi has imposed conditions on States even to avail increased FRBM limit from 3% to 5%,” he said.
Coming down heavily on Modi, he said his mantra of ‘cooperative federalism' is also 'bogus'. "Modi repeatedly talks about Centre, states working together in the spirit of true cooperative federalism. But the PM's package proves that all his talk of cooperative federalism is bogus. His package signifies his feudal, dictatorial mindset," he said
Expressed displeasure at the Centre's diktats, he said they want the state to impose higher power tariff and higher taxes in municipalities to claim FRBM.
"Only 0.5% of the increased FRBM limit is unconditional. TS as the revenue-surplus state is anyway eligible to claim this 0.5% hike. To claim remaining 1.5% hike, the Centre wants the state to agree for anti-people reforms in power, urban local bodies, etc. We have to impose higher power charges, higher taxes in municipalities, corporations on people to avail this 1.5% hike and agree for the privatization of discoms. They want powers to appoint even market committees in States,” he said.
KCR noted that he was ready to forego Rs 2,500 crore loans but will not implement power reforms. “I am ready to forego any loans but will not implement anti-people reforms in Telangana. Is this the way the Centre treats States to avail PM's package? Are States beggars?" he asked.
KCR said of the five reforms sought by Centre, the Telangana state has already fulfilled three including one nation-one ration card, ease of doing business reforms, and others. “I will not agree on any reforms which trouble people,” he said.
The chief minister asked Modi to realize that States are not subordinates of the Centre. "States have more responsibility towards people than the Centre," he said.
KCR also alleged that the Centre was looting states in the names of various ceases. "Instead of collecting taxes, the Centre is collecting money from States through the backdoor in the form of various cesses. This is because the Centre has to give a share to states in taxes. To avoid this, they take the cess route. I challenge Centre or anyone to prove me wrong on this argument," he said.
KCR categorically stated that it's the constitutional right of states to get due share in Central taxes. "The term devolution of taxes by the Centre itself is wrong. It's not devolution but a legitimate share of states in central taxes," KCR said.