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With empty coffers, Naidu has a daunting task ahead in implementing poll promises

TDP’s election campaign promised job creation, allowances, and social security, adding financial strain

With empty coffers, Naidu has a daunting task ahead in implementing poll promises

Herculean Task

  • Naidu directs Chief Secretary Prasad to assess the state’s financial status post-YSRCP rule
  • TDP chief, set to take office on June 12
  • State debt surged from Rs 4,28,715 crore in 2023 to Rs 4,85,490 crore in 2024
  • TDP’s K Rammohan Naidu emphasises fundraising for AP over political positions
  • TDP may seek special financial aid for projects from Centre

Vijayawada: TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu with nine year-stint as Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh and five years after post-bifurcation, will have a herculean task ahead in improving the financial position and implementing the Super Six Guarantees and other promises made by him in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.

Despite getting a brute majority relegating YSRCP to the third position in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly after the TDP and the film star Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party, Naidu has already directed the new Chief Secretary Neerabh Kumar Prasad to compile a report on the financial position.

The Chief Minister-in-waiting, who will take charge on June 12, said, "We don't know to what extent borrowings have been made under various heads during the five-year tenure of YSRCP government headed by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy."

As per a RBI report, the borrowings stood at Rs 4,28,715 crore as on March 31, 2023. It shot up to Rs 4,85,490 crore as on March 31, 2024. The YSRCP government while contending that the loans borrowed by various corporations should not be included in the State debts, had pointed out that at the time of bifurcation in June, 2014, AP had a debt burden of Rs 1,18,050 crore, which increased to Rs 2,64,451 crore on March 31, 2019. After his appointment as a Union Minister at the age of 36, K Rammohan Naidu, TDP national general secretary, said more than posts, their party's focus will be on mobilising funds.

Naidu's party won 16 Lok Sabha seats along with two from JSP and three from BJP. In Assembly, YSRCP could win only 11 out of 175.

According to indications, after getting data department-wise financial status and compiling the total debt burden, a white paper may be released as Naidu believes in debates and discussions over important issues.

TDP during the election campaign had promised Super Six Guarantees which include creation of 20 lakh jobs for youth in five years, unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 per month, Rs 15,000 per month to parents of each school-going child, an allowance of Rs 1500 per month to women in the age group of 21-59, supply of three LPG cylinders free per year and free travel for women in RTC buses. Moreover, Naidu had also promised to increase social security pension from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per month with effect from April 1, 2024, and doubling the honorarium to volunteers from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. All these promises if implemented will entail a huge financial burden on the exchequer.

TDP leaders including former Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and PAC Chairman P Kesav had been alleging in the past that during the YSRCP regime, there was no transparency in borrowings with secrecy on open and off-budget borrowings, expenditure on PD account, payment of interest, pending bills and ways and means drawn from RBI.

The TDP-led NDA government may insist on a special package/grants to overcome the present crisis as it is faced with the Himalayan task of completing the Polavaram project and building Amaravati as a 'futuristic' capital - the dream project of Naidu which remained unfulfilled after he lost power in 2019 elections.

Santosh Patnaik
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