He also claimed that the state has not raised debt beyond the permissible limit.
Slammed the attempts to project Andhra Pradesh as the only state raising debt, the Finance Minister told reporters in Delhi that after the Covid crisis, every state borrowed money and the Centre too raised its debt.
He condemned the attempts to create a panic among people. Referring to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement in Parliament on Monday, he said the question asked to her was not about Andhra Pradesh but a section of the media tried to spread falsehood to mislead people.
The minister said the state’s outstanding debt in 2020 was Rs 3,07,671 crore, and went up to Rs 3,60,333 crore in 2021, and Rs 3,98,903 crore in 2022.
He cited statistics in support of his claim that Andhra Pradesh’s debt were lower than those of other states. He said Karnataka’s debt was Rs 3.38 lakh crore in 2020, Rs.4.1 lakh crore in 2021, and Rs.4.61 lakh crore in 2022. Thus, Karnataka’s debt increased by Rs 60,000 crore every year.
Kerala’s debt was Rs 2.67 lakh crore in 2020, Rs 3.5 lakh crore in 2021 and Rs 3.35 lakh crore in 2022, he said, adding that its debt also went up by Rs 45,000 crore a year.
Similarly, Telangana’s debt also increased by Rs 45,000 crore a year. The state had Rs 2.25 lakh crore debt in 2020, and this mounted to Rs 2.67 lakh crore in 2021 and further to Rs 3.12 lakh crore in 2022.
Tamil Nadu’s debt grew by Rs 1 lakh crore a year – from Rs 4.62 lakh crore in 2020 to Rs 5.59 lakh crore in 2021 and to Rs 6.59 lakh crore in 2022.
Rajendranath Reddy blamed the previous government of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for indiscriminate borrowings between 2014 and 2019.
He also dismissed the reports that the inflation rate in Andhra Pradesh is highest among states. He said the inflation rate in Andhra Pradesh has been brought down to three per cent and pointed out the inflation rate in neighbouring Telangana is 4.13 per cent.
The minister also said the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government is acting with financial discipline.