AP BJP chief Purandeswari seeks orders for a special forensic audit of the state’s finances

She demanded an investigation by Serious Fraud Investigation office into the irregularities in the State Beverages Corporation.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Oct 24, 2023 | 3:56 PMUpdatedOct 24, 2023 | 3:56 PM

File photo of D Purandeswari.

In what is turning out to be her relentless pursuit for action against the YSRCP government, BJP state president D Purandeswari on Tuesday, 24 October, urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman to order a special forensic audit of the state financial position.

Purandeswari also sought investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation office into the alleged irregularities that are taking place in the AP State Beverages Corporation.

In a representation made to the Union minister, the BJP leader pointed out the reply the Finance Ministry had earlier given in the Parliament  that the state’s debt was only ₹4.42 lakh crore from the RBI without mentioning anything about corporation debts.

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‘Tarnishing state BJP unit’s image’

Purandeswari said that the family-owned media published this aspect widely tarnishing the image of the state BJP unit’s efforts to protect the interest of the future generations.

She said that the state had defaulted on several payments and had also submitted to the state high court its inability to pay money for power purchases from IPPS in spite of the court orders to pay.

Purandeswari said that the state had not made payments to suppliers and contractors for four years and there was no provision to pay interest in spite of the government collecting 18 percent interest on delayed payments of property taxes, electricity bills and state GST dues.

She said that several members of the trade bodies had sought dues paid with interest adding that if they approached court, several cases were filed against them.

“A mechanism has to be in place where all genuine suppliers are paid with interest in a specified time frame of three months,” she said.

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The state finances

Referring to the mess the state finances were in now, she said that the state’s own revenue was only ₹90,000 crore and adding the Union government’s share of taxes of ₹35,000 crore, the total revenue was only ₹1,25,000 crore.

She said that the state expenditure as per budget was ₹2,60,000 crore and the rest of it is from Union grants or borrowings from the RBI and corporate loan diversions.

She said the people were asking how could the state borrow additional funds of ₹50,000 crore every year on the same revenue of ₹90,000 crore per annum.

The BJP leader said that the current debt position of the state was close to ₹11 lakh crore.

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Raises concern

“The outgo as interest at the rate of eight percent per annum alone is ₹88,000 crore. The repayment of the principal would be a minimum of ₹36,000 crore if repaid in 30 years. The state would need a minimum of ₹1.24 lakh crore per year for servicing the debt,” she said.

She raised the concern that if the present state of affairs continued, governance would become a nightmare.

She urged the Union finance minister to ensure that all the payables and sovereign guarantees to the state were included in the FRBM limit.

Referring to the irregularities taking place in AP Beverages Corporation, she said it sold cheap liquor only against cash to one crore consumers a day, destroying their health and finances.

“The estimated revenue that is accruing to the liquor outlets is about ₹200 per person. The revenue thus diverted is in excess of ₹30,000 crore a year in cash. All manufacturing and distribution of cheap liquor is in the hands of the ruling party leaders,” she pointed out.