The Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday released a white paper accusing the previous government of mis-governance, financial mismanagement, and neglect of investment in human and physical capital.
In a stinging criticism of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime led by N. Chandrababu Naidu, the white paper said that Naidu’s term as chief minister had “pushed the state into the dark ages that were never experienced in its history".
Governance during the past five years was characterised by “blatant corruption, ruthless exploitation of natural resources for private gain…and above all, serious mismanagement of the financial system," the white paper said.
In 2006-07 (when Jagan’s father Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy was chief minister), the state achieved a revenue surplus of nearly 7% for the first time in more than a decade, it said.
The revenue surplus, which was nearly 1% of gross state domestic product in 2006-07, declined to 0.24 % in the subsequent years, the white paper pointed out.
“Similarly, the primary deficit that achieved a surplus in 2006-07, turned negative in the subsequent years," it said.
“A key reason for the huge increase in the debt and inadequacy of the revenue deficit grant provided by the Fourteenth Finance Commission is the underperformance by the state governments with respect to tax collections. Owing to policy lacunae and insufficient tax effort by the state government, the tax buoyancy and tax collections have remained suboptimal," it claimed.
A senior TDP leader, however, said that Andhra Pradesh grew during 2014-19 under Chandrababu Naidu despite not having a capital of its own as Hyderabad is the joint capital till 2024.
“They are going to come out with many white papers in the coming days. This won’t be the last one. The YSR Congress Party is in fact praising the previous government if you look at the growth rate. If the Centre had kept its promises and taken up the development works it said it would, Andhra Pradesh would have grown a lot more," he said.