Replying to a query, Panneerselvam said: “The outstanding debt of the State is under Rs 4 lakh crore. The interests for the debt are paid regularly from the revenue obtained from immovable properties of the State government.”
According to the State budget presented by Panneerselvam on Friday, the debt stood at Rs 3.97 lakh crore, showing a huge increase compared to the previous years. Opposition parties criticised the increasing debt and said that the State had failed to create new avenues for revenue generation.
The issue was raised in the Assembly on Monday, Krishnagiri DMK MLA T Senguttuvan said the debt, which was maintained well during the DMK regime, had risen manifold and now stands at Rs 4 lakh crore.
However, Electricity Minister P Thangamani interfered and replied that the DMK was responsible for the prevailing situation. “When the DMK came to power in 2006, the outstanding debt was Rs 9,000 crore. When the party lost power in 2011, the debt increased to Rs 45,000 crore,” he said.
Senguttuvan, subsequently, asked why the State could not get the pending amount due from the Centre. “The Central government must give more than Rs 10,000 crore to the State. But, the latter has not condemned the Centre for not giving the amount. What is the difficulty in securing the same when you claim that the State government is maintaining a cordial relationship with the Centre?” Senguttuvan added.
The DMK MLA further criticised the financial management of the State government, which he said could not even get the planned revenue from taxes. In his response, Panneerselvam said: “There are funds due from the Centre and hence a deficit in revenue. The share of the State in Centre’s fund is repeatedly dwindling. Although several letters have been written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, funds have not been received yet.”