Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday tore into the so-called stimulus package announced by the Centre in five tranches, stating that the package was nothing but an eyewash. “It is very unfortunate that the Centre is pushing for reforms holding a knife at the State governments’ throats,” he said.

Rubbishing the conditional increase in the FRBM limits from 3 per cent to 5 per cent, the Chief Minister said Telangana State already had the facility of borrowings to the extent of 3.5 per cent of the GSDP. “It is pathetic that the Centre should insist on States implementing the reforms in four sectors to qualify for increased borrowing at such times. Is the Centre giving some charity? Should the States have to go with a begging bowl to the Union government for assistance at such critical times?” the Chief Minister asked at a media conference after a Cabinet meeting at Pragathi Bhavan here.

“This is not the way one expects the Centre to push for reforms. It is mockery to say this is a stimulus package. The coming days will expose the Centre,” Chandrashekhar Rao said, and wondered if the Centre expected the municipalities in States to burden the people with taxes to improve its financial status at such difficult times.

Packing quite a few punches against the BJP government at the Centre, Chandrashekhar Rao said State government, in fact, have greater responsibilities and duties towards the people than the Union government. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about cooperative federalism, and then makes a complete mockery of it with the stimulus package. “The Centre should understand that States are not its subordinates,” he added.

Pointing out that Telangana was already on top when it came to “one nation, one ration card” and champion in Ease of Doing Business, he said it pains to see the Union government treating States so shabbily. “It is an injustice to the States. The package is not going to help the States in any way,” he said.

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