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Jagan govt admits it pushed AP into ‘debt trap’

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Ever since the YSRCP government led by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy came to power in Andhra Pradesh in May 2020, the financial condition of AP has turned from bad to worse.

This is because Jagan is busy rolling out ‘cash doles’ to people in the name of “Navaratnalu” to consolidate his ‘vote bank’ at the cost of public money without focussing on the development of state or wealth creation in AP.

Though AP today stands in the top-5 states in India in taking loans from banks and various financial institutions, Jagan, his ministers and YSRCP leaders denied them all these days saying that the financial condition of AP is strong and loans taken by the government were under ‘permissible limits’.

However, on Friday, AP finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy officially admitted that the state government took massive loans and the loans in the current fiscal 2020-21 surpassed the Budget estimates.

He said that the YSRCP government took loans to fund Jagan’s Navaratnalu schemes under which the government is crediting the amount in the bank accounts of lakhs of beneficiaries every month.

Buggana said the government was forced to take loans to fund Navaratnalu as the government’s revenue earnings took a severe beating due to corona crisis.

The recent CAG report also cautioned about the alarming financial condition of AP and advised the government not to depend only on loans to moblise funds.

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Buggana meets Nirmala Sitharaman

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Andhra Pradesh finance minister Buggana Rajendranath on Friday met Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi to press upon the central government for early release of pending funds to the state government.

Buggana urged the Union Finance Minister to release pending funds of the Polavaram project. Later taking to mediapersons, Buggana said he had appealed to Nirmala Sitharaman to resolve the issue of revenue deficit, release funds for completion of Polavaram project and seven backward districts and Ramayapatnam port.

“I made an appeal to the finance minister to set up a revolving fund for expediting the works of the Polavaram project. On the behalf of the government of Andhra Pradesh, I requested the finance minister to release funds for various projects, funds for the backward areas, development schemes under Bifurcation Act,” Buggana said. He also met minister for water resources Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to discuss the pending dues for the Polavaram project.

The state finance minister was accompanied by Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Ajeya Kallam, irrigation special chief secretary Adityanath Das and finance Secretary Rawat.

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AP budget for 2020-21 estimated at Rs. 2.24 Lakh Cr

AP Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy presented a budget for Rs. 2,24,789 Cr for 2020-`21 financial year. It was slightly lesser than last year’s budget of Rs. 2.27 lakh crore. In the present budget, Buggana said there will be revenue expenditure of Rs. 1.80 lakh crore while the capital expenditure is Rs. 44,396 cr. The TDP boycotted Buggana speech one again over denial of scope for debate on the budget in the Assembly.

The highlights of this year’s budget are:

YSR Rythu Bharosa Rs. 3,615 cr
Social welfare Rs. 12,465 cr
Education Rs. 22,604 cr
Agriculture Rs. 11,891 cr
Health Rs. 11,419 cr
BC welfare Rs. 26,934 cr
Energy Rs. 6,984 cr
Civil supplies Rs. 3,520 cr
Finance Rs. 50,703 cr
General administration Rs. 878 cr
Irrigation Rs. 11,805
Jagananna vidya, vasathi deevena Rs. 2,277 cr
ST welfare Rs. 1,804 cr
Transport and R&B Rs. 6,588 cr
Panchayat Raj and rural development Rs. 16,719 cr
Tourism Rs. 273 cr
Women and child welfare Rs. 3,456 cr

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Kanna, Buganna indulge in rapid fire over South Korean kits

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The procurement of rapid test kits by the Andhra Pradesh government from South Korea at a cost higher than other states has now turned into a full blown war of words between BJP state president Kanna Laxminarayana and finance minister Buganna Rajendranath Reddy.

After BJP State president Kanna Lakshminarayana demanded a thorough probe into the procurement of covid rapid test kits from a South Korean company accusing the state government of causing a substantial loss to the exchequer, Buganna Rajedranath on Friday reacted sharply challenging the BJP state president to prove that the company in which he is the director was involved in the procurement of the kits.

“I am ready to resign as the finance minister post by 9 am if Kanna Lakshminarayana can prove that I hold the post of a director in the company that procured the kits. If you cannot prove your allegations by 9 am tommorrow, will you resign,” Buganna challenged.

On Saturday, Kanna lashed out at Buganna saying nowhere did he mention his name or the company which was invovled in the procurement of the rapid test kits. “It is like when someone shouts theif, thief, someone who thinks he is not invovled reacts and shrug his shoulders ‘I am not the one who stole the pumpkins.” “Gummadi kaya donga evarante bhujam tadumukunnattu,” Kanna said. Further, he asked Buganna to read the letter that he had written to the Governor and get back to him if he mentioned his name or the name of the company that procured the kits.

While questioning why the state government procured each kit for ₹730 plus GST when the Chhattisgarh government purchased the same kits from a South Korean company at ₹337 plus GST, Kanna pointed out that the government involved middlemen in the public procurement process. He wrote a letter to Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan recently and questioned what prevented the government from directly dealing with the South Korean firm which was having a unit set up in Haryana and when Andhra Pradesh could manufacture the kits on its own. Reacting to this, Rajendranath Reddy asked whether Kanna would resign if he fails to prove the accusations he had levelled. The state finance minister said Kanna was making cheap comments at a time when the government is fighting the battle against covid-19. “It is not fair on the part of Kanna to make such comments. It is unbecoming of leader of his age and his position,” he fired at Kanna.

In the past, Kanna demanded that the government should come clean on the conflicting versions on the pricing of the testing kits. The government showed that the cost of each kit was Rs 730 plus GST while the health ministry stated that each kit was procured at Rs 640. The YSRCP mouthpiece Sakshi newspaper in its April 9 report stated that each kit cost Rs 1,200. As a matter of fact, the Sakshi newspaper reported that the kits were being exported to other countries from MedTech Zone. The Chhattisgarh government had procured each kit for Rs 337. “Which one of this is true? Why there are so many conflicting versions on the cost of each kit. The government should come clean on this. When I tweeted on this issue, Vijayasai Reddy leveled serious allegations against me,” he pointed out.

In the past, YSRCP MP Vijaysai Reddy launched a broadside against Kanna accusing him of dancing to the tunes of TDP Chandrababu Naidu and that the BJP leader was making allegations against the YSRCP government without the approval of central leadership. Further, Vijayasai Reddy defamed Kanna saying “Kanna is sold to TDP for Rs 20 crore and BJP MP Sujana Chowdhury acted as a broker in the deal.” Kanna threatend to slap criminal defamation against Vijaysai Reddy. The central BJP leadership took serious objections to the sweeping allegations leveled against its party president Kanna Laxminarayana by Vijayasai Reddy.

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Buggana meets Sitharaman over Polavaram project funds

Andhra Pradesh finance minister Buggana Rajendranath met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi and requested ‘urgent reimbursement’ of the expenditure made by the State for the Polavaram project, the heart and lifeline of Andhra Pradesh.

Highlighting the need for quicker disbursal of funds, Buggana Rajendranath noted that the State government had borrowed Rs 5,103 crore and spent it on the construction of Polavaram irrigation project. The state finance minister said the YSRCP government was expecting cooperation from Nabard in its effort to drive the state on a development path. On her part, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Buggana Rajendranath that the funds were getting delayed from Nabard to the central government and from central government to the Polavaram Project Authority.

After consultations with Nirmala Sitharaman, Buggana Rajendranath also met finance secretary S S Rawat and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and informed them that the YSRCP government had spent Rs 5,000 cr on Polavaram project so far and was paying Rs 500 crore as interest on it. The state finance minister requested reimbursement of Rs 3,000 cr on war-footing for the speedy construction of Polavaram project.

In 2019, replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had asked the YSRCP government to a ‘proactive’ manner in completing Polavaram project and that the funds for the national project would be released only when the State submits the audit reports of the expenditure made prior to April 1, 2014. The State government had submitted audit reports only for Rs 3,000 crore of the Rs 5,130 crore spent on the project and added that approval for the revised cost estimates (RCE) could be given only after the reports for the remaining amount are furnished. The state government has to furnish audit reports for Rs 2,000 crore. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told Rajya Sabha that until these reports are submitted, it will not be possible to finalise the cost necessary for the revised detailed project report’s approval.

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Buggana super logic on who is Tughlaq

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It has become very routine for all rivals to call AP CM Jaganmohan Reddy as a Tughlaq. The national media has also started using this much-maligned name to describe Jagan 3 Capitals and misgovernance. But YCP Ministers didn’t care about that. What embarrased them finally was the story headlined ‘Tughlaqi Jagan’ published by RSS mouthpiece Organiser. Now, the Ministers and YCP MPs are issuing their strong counters, asking the rivals to check historical facts before using the Tughlaq comment against AP CM.

Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy used super logic to say that Jagan is not shifting AP Capital to the centre of the state like Tughlaq did. He pointed out that it was Chandrababu Naidu who imitated Tughlaq to develop AP Capital in the centre of the state though it has no development potential. YCP logic is that Jagan is shifting AP Capital from the centre of the state to a strategic location in corner of the state. They are asking critics to realise how Tughlaq was forced to shift his Capital back to Delhi which was in one corner of the kingdom.

It’s now clear that Jagan Reddy is ready to face any odds and to use blind logic in order to kill Amaravati by shifting real Capital to Vizag.

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Black day for democracy? 3 Capitals halted in Council

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CM Jagan Reddy’s 3 Capitals Bill was halted for a minimum of one month as it was referred to the Select Committee by the Legislative Council Chairman Sharief tonight. Ministers Buggana Rajendranath Reddy and Botsa Satyanarayana immediately held a press conference to call it a black day in AP democracy and its legislature history. They accused Chandrababu Naidu of deliberately causing too much delay in the passage of the Capitals Bill eventually.

Minister Buggana also accused Council Chairman Sharief of going against democratic norms by using his discretion to send the decentralisation bill to Select Committee. Buggana felt very bad and said that the TDP could have defeated the Capitals Bill instead of going for Committee. The Minister said that it was evident that the Opposition leader personally camped in the Council gallery to ensure that Chairman disrupt democracy.

Now, the YCP had no choice but to wait for one to three months till the Council Select Committee submits its report. Only then, the Assembly once again can take up the Bill for further consideration.

The YCP Ministers addressed the people of AP and said that while their CM was striving hard to develop all three regions of the state equally, Chandrababu is using his 40 years industry to create all know kinds of hurdles.

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Amaravati has not come from heaven: Minister Buggana

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The non-stop all-round criticism is badly embarrassing the Jagan Reddy government on the issue of Singapore companies leaving Amaravati project and Concept Cities being proposed instead of developing the Andhra Capital City. YCP Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy gave his sharp reactions while Minister Botsa Satyanarayana kept silent this time.

Buggana sounded extremely harsh and bitter. He said that the Singapore companies talked about requirement of thousands of crores of rupees to develop infrastructure for their Start-up Area Project. Buggana said that AP doesn’t have such huge financial resources to build such big projects. He wondered why the opposition parties are making so much fuss about Capital City. In a very frustrated tone, Buggana said that Amaravati has not come from heaven and it’s not an immediate priority for the YCP government.

Buggana went on to say that they want to develop industrial corridor from Kadapa to Visakhapatnam. Buggana’s bold comments exposed the continued adamant attitude of Jagan Regime despite united attack by the opposition parties and negative response from the Modi government.

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Naidu left behind financial mess, says Jagan government

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With the State Bank of India raising concerns about Andhra Pradesh’s rising outstanding debts and sovereign guarantees, the state’s Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party government on Friday blamed previous Chandrababu Naidu regime for the financial mess.

Finance Minister Buggana Rajendernath said the financial indiscipline of the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government was spilling over and it would take time to undo the damage.

“The previous government has left behind a legacy of huge debts stemming from off-budget borrowings and loans from various corporations and extravagant spending and clearing the dues of their favoured contractors while mounting the dues to public services and other utilities,” he told reporters here.

On the news in a section of media about SBI letter on the loan taken by Andhra Pradesh Power Finance Corporation (APPFC), Rajendernath said that it was part of regular correspondence. He said he had no knowledge as to how the letter was leaked.

The SBI, in its letter date September 30, questioned the veracity of the guarantees offered by the state government for Rs 3,000 crore term loan for APPFC.

The Finance Minister said the ratings will be given by agencies like Crisil and Brickwork who have their own basis on assessing the credit worthiness. He pointed out that in January, Crisil gave A+ while Brickwork gave A- rating.

Stating that the outstanding guarantees by the state rose from Rs 9,665 cores in 2017 to Rs 35,964 cores in 2018, he said this was the period of the previous government.

Rajendernath alleged that the combination of then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and then Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu always played truant with the state finances. He said it was the previous government which went out of the way to draw supplementary grants, took loans from all the corporations including Civil Supplies and has the dubious distinction of drawing Rs 5,000 crore on single day.

The minister said huge amounts were paid to their eight favoured contractors while public utility bills like mid-day meals, fees reimbursement, land acquisition, power distribution companies, hospital subsidies, and outsourcing employees’ salaries were kept pending.

“The pending bills and amounts drawn before elections were piled up on us and their mismanagement was carried forward and has fallen on us to clear. Now it is the same TDP leaders who are talking about financial management,” he said.

Rajendranath said the previous government left the state finances high and dry with total dues to distribution companies to a tune of Rs 14,857 cores and signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with companies with terms heavily loaded in favour of the latter.

He said was premature to judge the financial situation of the government which is just four montsh old and it takes at least one year to gauge the performance. On October 7, the government went for a routine borrowing of Rs 1,000 crore but it was oversubscribed at Rs 2,005 crores which shows the confidence Reserve Bank of India has in the state government, he said.

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Jagan-GVL conspiracy on High Court shifting?

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All the worst fears are coming true all the time thanks to CM Jagan Reddy’s determined efforts to demolish and kill Amaravati. Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy himself has confirmed that AP High Court will shifted from the present capital city to Kurnool town. He is very happy about this as HC is coming to his native district.

Rajendranath Reddy is actively pursuing this at the state level. But shifting of HC requires total support from the Modi government at the Centre. So, Brahmin intellectual and BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao assured all his support to Jagan Circar. GVL even visited Kurnool and announced his party support to HC shifting. It is not clear whether GVL has taken permission from BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana.

At the time of reorganization, BJP leaders joined Congress and announced that a better capital city would be developed for AP. After five years, leaders like GVL are hell bent on colluding with Reverse Jagan and they together started demolishing the centrally located Amaravati. Analysts say that the Jagan-GVL duo are now certain to shift the High Court to Kurnool. This will no doubt be the beginning of the end of Amaravati Capital City.

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AP global image being damaged by YCP Regime?

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Can any progressive government dare talk about its poor finances anywhere? More alarmingly, CM Jaganmohan Reddy and his Cabinet Ministers have been damaging AP image even in their foreign visits. Now, it’s the turn of Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy who talked about AP’s poor economy during his official Singapore tour without any shyness. Worried at this negative attitude, the entire opposition is saying that these YCP ‘bankrupt policies’ are causing irreparable loss to the state in all sectors.

It is being seen as a bold and reckless move for the Finance Minister to tell Singapore Government that AP has no funds to construct the Amaravati Capital City? Singapore Ministers and Officials know very well that Amaravati was developed a self-financing project which has huge economic potential in the near future. They have indirectly told Rajendranath Reddy that foreign investments and economic development would come only when necessary atmosphere is created in AP. Has this opened the eyes of AP Minister? Having 33,000 acres prime land, Amaravati’s property values skyrocketed prior to 2019 election. The Capital has 9,000 acres with potential for commercial exploitation to generate thousands of crores of rupees. Yet, YCP Circar is repeating its damaging statements at home and abroad. Analysts say that this will make it difficult for AP to get low-interest loans from any international institution in future.

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Buggana’s new logic on Andhra Capital City

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Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy is giving strong hints on the Jaganmohan Reddy government’s policy towards Amaravati Capital City. He is asserting that nowhere in the world capital is built with loans but such a city develops on its own. The indirect message is that the YCP government is not going to release any additional funds to compensate for the loss of the World Bank loan. Only Rs 500 Cr was allocated in the budget while nearly Rs 38,000 cr works were underway prior to the 2019 election.

What Buggana is missing is that no capital city is built without generous release of funds by any government. During British India, lot of funds were pumped to plan and develop what we now have Delhi as the country’s capital. Hyderabad was also developed by the Nizams and later by state governments at different stages till it became one of the global IT hubs. Can Buggana apply the same logic and say the poor people should develop on their own without depending on social welfare benefits like Navaratnalu?

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

AP finance minister’s statement disappointed ration dealers

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Andhra Pradesh minister Buggana Rajendra Reddy’s statement during budget presentation brought confusion and disappointment to the ration dealers in the state of Andhra Pradesh. details as below.

Click here: https://www.telugu360.com/ration-dealers-against-jagan-decision-protests-and-arrests/

It is known news that ration dealers in the state have been protesting against CM Jagan’s decision of handing over the responsibilities of the Public distribution system to Gram volunteers. They have been expecting some clarification from the government about what would be their livelihood if such a decision is implemented. They are in fact asking the CM not to implement such a decision. Today, as part of Budget speech, finance minister Buggana Rajendra Reddy again emphasized the government’s intention to hand over the public distribution system to Grama volunteers.

The statement of the minister came as a jolt to ration dealers as it doesn’t contain any plans for providing an alternate livelihood to ration dealers. They are planning to give representation to CM and minister once again to resolve their problem and if possible re-consider the decision altogether.

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BJP strategist Ram Madhav condemns rumors on Buggana meeting him

There has been lot of debate and exchange of words on public accounts Chairman and leader of YSR CP Buggana Rajendranath Reddy meeting several leader of BJP in Delhi.

TDP leaders commented YSR CP hatching conspiracy with BJP on Chandrababu Naidu and TDP government and Buggana Delhi tour is first step of that conspiracy. TDP leaders questioned why Buggana Rajendranath has to meet BJP leaders including Amit Shah and Ram Madhav.

Buggana later clarified that he met BJP leaders like Akula Satyanarayana because of his friendship with them. For that matter, he has friends even in TDP party. he also condemned comments that he met Amit Shah and Ram Madhav.

Now BJP leader Ram Madhav responded on this and said YSR Congress MLA Buggana Rajendranadh Reddy has not met him. He added, in fact two prominent leaders from Telugu Desam have met him recently as they came to console him after his mother passed away.

But, as of now it is confirmed that Buggana met several BJP leaders in Delhi even though he did not meet Ram Madhav and Amit Shah.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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