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Hon’ble Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said that the Finance Commission should think of leveraging the Indian economy and its role has to be totally changed and its functioning should not be a routine affair.
The CM held a review meeting with finance and senior officers in the backdrop of the possibility of a visit of 15th Finance Commission to the State shortly.
Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary SK Joshi, Financial Advisor GR Reddy, CMO officers Narsing Rao, Ms. Smita Sabharwal, Sandeep Sultania, Manik Raj, Special CS Rajeshwar Tiwari, Finance Secretary Ramakrishna Rao, PR Secretary Vikas Raj, Commissioner PR Ms. Neetu Prasad, IT Secretary GT Venkateshwara Rao and others attended the meeting.
The CM said that though there have been different Governments at the National and State level since independence with different political parties coming to power from time to time there has not been a qualitative change and hence it’s time to introspect on this. He expressed unhappiness as to why people are disappointed with the policies of governments and are in an agitating mood. In this context, CM mentioned that the two political systems have miserably failed the nation.
“The broad fiscal policy lies with the Government of India. Whatever they are supposed to devolve, they have instead centralized.
I told NITI Aayog in one of the meetings that, the centre should not come in the way of growing States. The growth of the state should be considered as the growth of a country.
Do not disincentivise growing States. Even for meagre funds, lots of conditions are imposed by the centre. The relation that should ideally exist between union government and State government is absent. It’s highly unfortunate that the policies of devolution are in a manner of dishonouring the State government and States’ powers”.
Referring to the Finance Commission and its role CM said that, “The Finance Commission visits States with pre-occupied notions. They come with pre-occupied ideas like ToR which in fact should be done after they complete their visit, discuss with State governments and take their views. It’s better if the Finance Commission becomes a policy formulating body. Devolution is the right of the States. A lot of diversity is there with reference to States’ requirements”.
With these observations, Chief Minister KCR instructed the Finance Department officers to prepare a memorandum highlighting Telangana State’s requirements and it should include what all that the State needs.
Budget Exercise-Pre requisites:
Hon’ble Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao also reviewed the budget preparation arrangements and the pre-requisites for the same. CM said that the State budget should be formulated only after defining as to what should form the Telangana State “Livelihood” (రాష్ట్రంలోని జీవికను నిర్వచించుకోవడం). Defining upon as to how and what it should be the modalities of a budget to be worked out and it should be worked out broadly for the next five years and not merely for just one year. He said the concept and basis for formulating this year’s budget should be “Where is Telangana Today and where it should reach after five years”. CM suggested that a comprehensive plan has to be prepared before preparing the budget. CM also suggested to form different task forces for different subject areas.
CM said that budget should concentrate on working out modalities and ways and means for increasing the growth. For this, CM stated that the Government should know the issues that help it in attaining economic growth.
The CM said that “having been elected as CM I have been thinking what best I can do to the people. Preparation of budget should be preceded only after abundant clarity but not in a hurry. The process should also begin only after the people who matter in preparation makes up their mind. We should assess our advantages, disadvantages, strengths, weaknesses and the socio-economic pattern. We should have a clear assessment of the money we are likely to get in the next five years and how the State intends to spend it”.
Citing the examples of different areas for working out budget proposals, Hon’ble CM first mentioned about the water resources followed by other departments. He said while preparing the budget estimates for irrigation, it should be taken into consideration about the money government spent during the past four years and likely to spend this year as well as during coming five years which all put together may work out to Rs. 2 lakh crores. All the clearances from Government of India have been obtained for all the irrigation projects stating that it is a great achievement and the same should reflect in budget.
Similarly, CM gave the examples of sheep distribution and how it can be taken forward. Another big area of advantage CM mentioned is the fisheries, handloom sector. CM said that handloom sector can attract international market and as such the skill of Telangana to be fully utilised. CM also mentioned about the power sector and said that Telangana State stands number one in power per capita consumption. These are to be considered before the preparation of budget proposals.
CM suggested that while preparing budget proposals a thought may be given as to how Kaleshwaram Project could be marketed as a tourist spot as well as a pilgrimage centre. The Triveni Sangamam can become one of the best tourist spots, CM opined. The Budget should focus on the tourism advantages of Telangana. CM asked the officials to work out modalities for modernization of agriculture including research facilities in universities. The Budget should also take into consideration as to how the concept of food processing units could be taken forward.
Referring to the Education and Health sectors, CM suggested to examine how best Telangana can take advantage of private universities. He said that rules for starting private universities are to be framed in such a way that state can attract students who otherwise prefer other states and nations. CM said even international students could be attracted. CM said that there needs to be planning to make Telangana as a healthy state. Reforms are to be made with a human angle.
Clean drinking water is now available all over the State said CM. He said that it is an indicator of the development index. While preparing the budget, CM suggested that estimates are to be made with regards the industrial requirements and the type of infrastructure required needs to be worked out.
On Hyderabad City…
CM said that “Hyderabad is a global city. It’s one among the five large cities in the country. It needs 100 urban parks at a minimum. Prepare a Master Plan that will last for generations to come. The Only cabinet will be competent to change the guidelines. Let the budget reflect as to how Hyderabad could be made global in a true sense and how much we need to spend during the next five years. Hyderabad will continue to be the backbone of Telangana State economy”.
On Training to Ministers and Secretaries
After the formation Cabinet, as and when it takes place, there will be a rigorous orientation cum training program for all the Ministers and Secretaries in Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad on their roles, powers and responsibilities. The program schedule among others will include acquainting the ministers with rules and regulations, business rules of Secretariat, budget making procedures, their limits, priorities as well as state and national economy.