Dismissing allegations of "discrimination" by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that the funds allotted to Telangana in this year's Budget are much higher compared to other states.The Finance Minister held an interactive post-Budget session with traders, industry representatives, economists, academicians and policy experts.
"The central government has not reduced the funds allotted to Telangana state. Telangana has seen an increase in central fund transfers. They have been much higher than any other state. The funds for Telangana saw a 128 percent increase in this year's budget as allotted by the central government," Sitharaman said.
The minister was responding to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao's statement, expressing unhappiness over the funds' allocation made for Telangana in the Union Budget 2020-21. She opined that the number of states have been reduced by one and union territories increased by two, due to which there were some change in the devolution of funds to the states.
Speaking about the GST compensation allotment to Telangana state, Sitharaman said that GST cess could not be collected and that is the reason GST cess compensation has not been given to the states, including Telangana, from 2017 to 2019.
Responds to KR Rama Rao
Referring to Telangana Industry Minister KT Rama Rao without naming him, Sitharaman said that he had taken exception to her using the term "given" while replying to a question in the Parliament about the devolution of central funds to Telangana.
KT Rama Rao had said that Telangana has contributed and what the Centre is saying "given" is our right. To which Sitharaman responded, "It is correct every state is contributing. Telangana is also making good contribution. Given is a common expression used in Parliament. If he has any objection he should write to Lok Sabha Speaker to give a ruling that this word should not be used".