'Don't compare': AP, TS object to foreign minister's `learn lessons from SL turmoil' statement

The statement evoked a sharp reaction from leaders of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  20 July 2022 12:13 PM GMT
Dont compare:  AP, TS object to foreign ministers `learn lessons from SL turmoil statement

Vijayawada: A major political row has erupted after External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar asked Telugu states to learn strong lessons from the turmoil in Sri Lanka, Jaishankar highlighted the economic crisis as the main reason behind political turmoil. He said the culture of freebies had impacted Lanka's fiscal health.

Union economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth gave data on every state's financial benchmarks.

EAM said Andhra Pradesh has been spending more than its earnings. It was also said that the state has a poor debt-to-GDP ratio. During the meeting, he said AP debt has reached 32% of GSDP (gross state domestic product, and the state has crossed the debt and financial benchmarks. He said during 2019-202, Andhra Pradesh has taken a Rs 27,837 crore loan from non-budget sources, and power companies have a debt of Rs 10,109 crore.

The statement evoked a sharp reaction from leaders of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The protests were initiated by Tamil Nadu. It was followed by YSRCP Parliamentary Party leader V Vijayasai Reddy, and floor leader in the Lok Sabha PV Midhun Reddy from YSRCP, who hit back at the Centre. The leaders of both the Telugu states asked the center not to use such meetings to discuss state issues. The leaders asked not to compare the state's financial issues with other countries.

Responding to this, Jaishankar said: "We have told the facts about the conditions of the states. It is not that we will go into a situation like Sri Lanka, but based on available data, we have explained the status of the states and their financial discipline."

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