Express press service
HYDERABAD: Now politics would decide whether or not Telangana could borrow on the open market for this year. Union Finance Ministry officials, after hearing arguments from state finance officials to allow the state to borrow, left the matter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to take a call.
After the Union Finance Ministry denied Telangana permission to increase Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) loans, Special Chief Secretary (Finance) K Ramakrishna Rao left for Delhi on Friday and stayed there for five days. He submitted the necessary letters and demanded evidence to support his case for allowing open market borrowing.
Sources say officials at the Union’s finance ministry are “convinced” by his arguments. However, Union Finance Ministry officials have not made any commitment on FRBM loans from the state. The sources said ministry officials will now refer the matter to the Union Finance Minister.
“The leaders are convinced. But, they cannot make any decision. A political decision is needed to allow TS to increase FRBM lending,” finance ministry officials reportedly told state government officials. “The Telangana case may not reach the level of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Union Finance Ministry will make a decision,” Union Finance Ministry officials had told the state government big bosses.
But, in the current political scenario, especially after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao started attacking the BJP-led central government, it remains to be seen whether the “political decision” on borrowing will be in favor of the state. or not. It is also likely that the whole matter will be up to the Prime Minister as the TRS and the BJP are locked in an intense political war in the state.
If the “political decision” is positive, the state would be able to raise part of the Rs 53,000 crore market borrowing it proposed in the 2022-23 budget. If this is not the case, he can take legal action.
To date, no TRS executive has made an official comment on the Center’s refusal to the state to raise FRBM loans.