Going by the election manifestos of both the ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK, the government will require additional Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore to meet the promises made by Dravidian majors ranging from monthly financial assistance to women and filling up of 3 lakh vacancies in government.
“The state in February had a debt of Rs 5,70,189.29 crore and by May it will easily cross Rs 6 lakh crore, thanks to the increasing corona pandemic expenditure and the retirement of government employees,” a senior government official told DT Next.
Political parties have not applied their mind and have unleashed the electoral manifestos which fail to connect with reality and the bleeding balance sheet of the government, the official explained.
“Already the transport sector is in a deep mess and not able to pay retirement benefits to its employees. Tamil Nadu Electricity Board is another giant with debts mounting daily. TNEB loses around Rs 1,500 crore every month due to the scheme offering 100 units free and an equal amount is also incurred as subsidy as free current for farmers,” the official said.
Now with coronavirus pandemic expense eating another Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 14,000 crore, the funds have drained out completely, the official said. On any day the state should have at least Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 5000 crore to handle the daily tenders related to maintenance and operations of the government departments, but fund position is alarmingly bad, the official warned.
“Fulfilling poll promises will be a nightmare for the finance department and there are close to 2 crore ration cards in the state. If the DMK is elected, the state will need Rs 24,000 crore and, if, the AIADMK continues the state should generate Rs 36,000 crore annually to pay the promised monthly financial assistance,” pointed out an officer who retired last year.
The state and Centre struggle to pay the annual assistance of Rs 6,000 to farmers and the crop loans have been waived on paper, but the state had released just Rs 5,000 crore for the total waived loan of Rs 12,000 crore.
Public and taxpayers should be ready to pay more, the retired official, who had served in the finance and revenue department noted.