Telangana Stares At Rs 1.43 Lakh Crore Public Debt As On FY18: CAG 
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (PTI)

Telangana Stares At Rs 1.43 Lakh Crore Public Debt As On FY18: CAG 

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Telangana's total debt stood at nearly Rs 1.43 lakh crore by the end of 2017-18, an 18 percent increase over the preceding year, the CAG said in its report tabled today in the state assembly.

The Comptroller and Auditor General also expressed concern that the interest payments by the government, relative to revenues, were higher at 12.19 percent against the target of 8.31 percent fixed by the 14th Finance Commission.

"Outstanding public debt (Rs 1.42,918 crore) increased by 18 percent in 2017-18 over the preceding year at a higher place than growth of Gross State Domestic Product. Interest payments are increasingly consuming revenue receipts. The interest payments relative to revenue receipts were much higher at 12 percent against the target of 8.31 percent fixed by the 14th Finance Commission," the CAG said.

The ratio of debt repayment to tax revenue also increased from six percent in 2015-16 to 8.05 percent 2017-18,it said. The maturity profile of outstanding public debt as on March 2018 showed that Rs 65,740 crore, 48 percent of total outstanding debt, is to be repaid over the next seven years, the auditor said in the report.

"The state government may undertake a study supported by future projections to measure its total physical commitments that the ability to meet them. Inform the risk assessment on its future borrowing," CAG said in its recommendations. The CAG report said the government had ensured decrease in the cost of collection in the past three years prior to fiscal 2018, indicating greater efficiency measured as cost of tax collection as a percentage of tax collection. The state government, which has placed creation of infrastructure as a priority area since the formation of the state, spent Rs 79,236 crore on capital projects from 2014 to 2018.

Within the capital projects, more than 50 percent of the capital expenditure was on irrigation and flood control, except in 2016-17. Delays in completion of projects, however, not only adversely affected quality of the expenditure, but also deprived the state of intended benefits and economic growth, the CAG said.

In respect of 19 irrigation projects, whose original cost was Rs 41,201 crore, delay ranging from three to 11 years led to escalation of projected cost to Rs 1.32,928 crore, CAG said. The state government did not disclose financial results of any of the irrigation projects, it said.

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