Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday said the State has to be prepared to implement austerity measures in view of the State finances which had nosedived drastically following the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

“Telangana State normally generates income of Rs 12,000 crore every month, but this has gone for a complete toss following the lockdown. In May, the State received Rs 3,100 crore, which includes the State’s share in Central taxes of Rs 982 crore. Though the State government has announced some relaxations in the lockdown guidelines, the income has not registered any substantial increase,” the Chief Minister said at a high level review meeting on the State’s economic condition at Pragathi Bhavan here.

Pointing out that the income from transport, registration and other departments was not something to write about, Chandrashekhar Rao said the State will have to make do with whatever meagre income it was generating. “The State government has to pay debt installments to the tune of Rs 37,400 crore per year. These installments have to be paid every month without fail since the Centre has not said anything to the Telangana’s request for rescheduling the loans,” he said, adding that subsequently, the State was left with no choice but to pay the installments.

The Chief Minister also said that though the Centre had increased the FRBM limits, additional loans could not be availed because of the conditions imposed by the Central government. “If salaries of employees and pensions are paid, the expenditure would be more than Rs 3000 crore, that would leave the entire treasury empty. Henceforth, no payments can be made nor can any work be undertaken,” he said, adding that a proper strategy will have to be adopted in the given situation.

While Aasara pensions would continue to be paid and the 12 kg free rice per person will continue to be given to white ration card holders in the State, the Rs 1,500 one-time assistance paid per family holding white ration cards across the State will be stopped from June since labourers and workers would be getting work after relaxations in the lockdown norms.

The deduction of 75 per cent in the salaries of public representatives, 60 per cent in the case of All India Service officers, 50 per cent in the case of government employees salaries, 25 per cent in pensions will continue for the month of May also. For outsourced and contract workers, there will be a 10 per cent cut in their salaries in May too, he said.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramakrishna Rao, CMO Principal Secretary Narsing Rao and other senior officials participated in the meeting.

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