HYDERABAD: For the first time in the last five-and-a-half years, Telangana, which was riding high on a robust growth rate of 21% in its income, is facing the economic slowdown blues.
In a finance report submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor General of Telangana (a copy of which is in possession of TOI), it was said the state is facing a shortfall of Rs 838 crore in tax revenues (till October 2019) when compared to the last year, indicating a negative growth.
Every year, Telangana has shown year-on-year growth. But, this is the first time that things are not looking good, officials pointed out. Sources said the severe shortfall of income was noticed in September and October. “By the end of October this year, the state’s overall tax revenues stood at Rs 43,777 crore. During the corresponding time last year, the revenues were Rs 44,615 crore,” a senior official said.
Not long ago, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had made claims of growth rate at 21-22%, which meant the state will have additional revenues of Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore every year. “We had the good fortune which no other state in the country had. Our growth rate is 21-22%, that is state-owned revenues,” the chief minister had said in the legislative council.
He went on to say, “In Telangana, we will have our own resources and we can develop the state. What we said during the statehood agitation was coming true now.”
But, the euphoria seems to be short-lived as the state has fared badly on GST too, the income of which also took a hit. Till October last year, the state had netted a GST income of Rs 16,429 crore, which fell to Rs 14,097 crore now. “Telangana faced a huge cut in the central tax share this year, causing an overall dent in its revenues,” the officials said.
This comes at a time when the state had registered 14.9% growth rate in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), which was the highest among all other states in the country in 2018-19.
The only solace for the government came in the form of its coffers getting a boost by the excise income to the tune of Rs 953 crore and excise duty on petrol and diesel.
While senior officials are worried about the impact the shortfall in revenues would cause on the implementation of various schemes, financial experts said Hyderabad holds key to boosting the incomes. “When compared to other capitals, Hyderabad has a thriving real estate sector and job creation is not a problem. Increased economic activity in Hyderabad is key to improving the state’s revenues,” banking expert and financial advisor K Narasimha Murthy said.
Source- Times of India.