Pending projects to be completed at any cost: Harish Rao 

Harish Rao 
Work on the Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project is under way. The State government spent Rs 1,20,000 crore on irrigation projects so far.

Hyderabad: The Telangana government, which so far spent Rs 1,20,000 crore on irrigation projects, is determined to complete all pending projects with or without Central assistance even if the State has to borrow more, Finance Minister T Harish Rao asserted on Thursday.

Replying to the general discussion on the State Budget in the Assembly, Harish said successive governments in undivided Andhra Pradesh spent Rs 1,42,792 crore, covering all 23 districts, from 2004 to 2014. The projects in Telangana were always neglected or limited to laying foundation stones. “Congress leaders are confused, one says the Rs 11,000-crore allocation for irrigation is not sufficient, while another objects to external borrowing by the State government to complete the projects,” Harish said.

Making it clear that the government will not stop till it completes all the projects at hand, the Minister said the returns on investment in irrigation were always high. “For instance, the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) turned the 150-km-long Godavari into a lifeline for Telangana, with water brimming in reservoirs and canals. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao also announced Rs 250 crore for the Godavari River Front Tourism programme to develop tourism on the banks of the Kaleshwaram project,” he said.

Growth in every sector

Harish said NITI Aayog recognised Telangana as the number one State with regard to capital expenditure in the country. “While the capital expenditure of undivided AP was Rs 1.29,683 crore, in just five-and-half years, Telangana spent Rs 2,11,800 crore,” he said.

Giving a glimpse of the Telangana government’s achievements since the State’s formation, he said the expenditure on the agriculture sector was Rs 33,125 crore — indicating a growth of 6.1 per cent. “Today the State grows paddy in 78,46,619 acres, producing a whopping 2.28 crore tonnes of the crop worth Rs 40,000 crore,” Harish said.

The government, since 2014, spent Rs 42,470 crore on pensions alone, including Aasara, while the Opposition blames it for cutting down on welfare programmes, he said. He added that the government spent Rs 5,035 crore on sheep distribution.

The State, which is number one in the country in providing quality power, created a record of highest per capita power consumption of 1,896 units, peak demand of 13,168 MW and the installed capacity of 16,246 MW. The Finance Minister, clarifying the doubts of BJP MLA Raja Singh on the 2BHK scheme, said the construction of 2,72,763 houses will continue along with another lakh to be built on beneficiaries’ land. “The government, while waiving Rs 4,000-crore loans taken by the beneficiaries for housing, allocated Rs 10,000 crore for the 2BHK scheme,” he said.

Industrial sector

Coming down heavily on Congress for breaking the back of industries in Telangana during its rule by imposing power holidays, Harish said the State government set up 43 industrial parks in the State with an investment of Rs 1,25,578 crore, providing employment to over 10 lakh people. Refuting allegations that only certain industries were given industrial incentives, he said only 6,938 SC/ST entrepreneurs were given incentive of Rs 339 crore due to recession, keeping all big industrial houses out of the incentive scheme.

Further clarifying doubts, the Minister said while 1,50,260 posts were to be filled, 1,23,075 were filled and recruitment in all universities would start immediately after legal hindrances resulting from a case in the Allahabad High Court are cleared.

Everyone equal for TRS govt, says Harish

Hyderabad: Finance Minister T Harish Rao said the State government does not differentiate between MLAs of Treasury Benches and the Opposition while extending financial support. The Minister was replying to an allegation levelled by lone BJP MLA Rajasingh Lodh that none of the Assembly segments were developed on par with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s constituency Gajwel.

“Statehood was achieved for all, and all places will be developed equally. But, this is not happening. Only Gajwel has all the facilities,” Raja Singh alleged, and wanted to know the list of Centre-funded programmes being implemented in the State, such as PM Matru Vandana Yojana.

Harish asked the BJP legislator as to why the government, which provides 24×7 quality power to all Assembly segments, gives tap water connection to each and every household in every habitation, irrespective of political affiliation of the MLA, and provides irrigation from Kaleshwaram to Suryapet without discrimination, would do such a thing.

He said when it came to the State’s development the Chief Minister treated everyone equally. He reminded Singh about the Constituency Development Programme under which he received funds for Goshamahal. Harish also informed the House that there was a 20 per cent increase in patients in government hospitals after the steps initiated by the government to provide modern amenities. “The earlier Congress governments failed to equip district hospitals with dialysis units, while the TRS government is providing modern single-filter dialysis units to all hospitals,” Harish said.

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