Chief Minister of both the Telugu states, who met the union finance minister Arun Jaitley during last two days with big wish lists seeking liberal financial assistance from the center to rescue them from severe financial crisis seems to be advised to follow strict financial discipline by formulating appropriate priorities for their governments.
It may be recalled that ahead of the Union Budget due shortly, Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley said, "We are trying to rationalize expenditure as far as the government is concerned because we do not want the government to live on borrowed money indefinitely. The whole concept of spending beyond your means and leaving the G-next in debt to repay what we are overspending today is never prudent fiscal policy."
This is indeed an excellent framework to base one's financial priorities on, especially to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Though the finance minister didn't go into details on the `wrong' priorities of these two governments, his tone said to be raising questions like does Telangana need skyscrapers around Hussain Sagar or would it better off sending that money in trying to alleviate the problems of farmers?
It also suggests does Andhra Pradesh need a new capital on fertile agricultural lands or would it be better off spending that money in developing the infrastructure to attract investments given that it is facing a revenue deficit? The loans that KCR and Naidu are taking today for their fanciful dreams, stagger the imagination and will leave our children in huge debts.
Why does Naidu need a new capital and 38000 acres for it when he can so easily make use of the existing facilities? Why does KCR need to demolish the existing secretariat and then build one from scratch all over again, dismantling in the process a hospital that is very conveniently located for the people?
Both the Chief Ministers said to be understood well by the Center, during their meeting of several union ministers, including interacting with the Prime Minister at NITI Aayog's first meeting, that the Center is very conservative in providing `liberal' financial assistance to the states and like to be strict in prioritising its own agenda.