Karunanidhi rebuts Jayalalithaa’s ‘debt trap’ charges

January 13th, 2010 - 12:54 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 12 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Tuesday sought to refute J. Jayalalithaa’s accusations that his party had led the state into a debt trap, and said the AIADMK had doubled the debt when it was in power between 2001 and 2006.
Responding to Jayalalithaa’s posers Monday in the assembly during the debate on the motion of thanks to Governor Surjit Singh Barnala’s address, Karunanidhi said: “Jayalalithaa after asking the questions walked out of the House without waiting for the answers. Nevertheless the answers are here.”

He said the total debt of Tamil Nadu as on March 31, 2009 is Rs.74,858 crore and the funds for converting 2.1 million mud houses with thatched roofs into concrete houses would be met from the state’s annual plan.

“The expenditure on the housing scheme is a plan expenditure. The total cost will be Rs.12,600 crore. As the 2.1 million houses will be built over a period of six years the annual expenditure will be Rs.2,100 crore. In the year 2010-11 300,000 houses will be built and Rs.1,800 crore will be allocated for it at Rs.60,000 per house,” Karunanidhi said in a letter to the party workers that was released to the media late Tuesday.

He said the ensuing state budget will contain the mode of funding the housing project.

Responding to Jayalalithaa’s charge that the DMK government is moving the state towards a debt trap, Karunanidhi said: “During the DMK’s rule in 1996-2001 the debt was Rs.28,685 crore.”

This went up to Rs.57,457 crore during the five-year AIADMK rule in 2001-2006, twice that of what the DMK government had left, he said.

He said the DMK government has been managing the deficit at three percent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP).

The state’s debt grew to Rs.60,170 crore in fiscal 2007, to Rs.64,655 crore the next year and Rs.74,858 crore in 2009.

He said the state government was following the central government’s permission to have the fiscal deficit at four percent of the GSDP.

He said the government announced the two acre free land scheme to landless farmers based on the AIADMK’s budget statement of Fiscal Year 2002.

To Jayalalithaa’s question on the reasons for the fall in growth, Karunanidhi said: “During DMK’s first year in power in 2006-07, the economic growth was 11.29 percent. In 2008-09 the growth rate is 4.55 percent.”

Citing neighbouring states logging similar growth rates in 2009, he said Andhra Pradesh grew at 5.53 percent while it was 5.08 percent for Karnataka.

“While the growth rate for Gujarat and Maharashtra are not known, the global economic recession was the main reason for the fall in the state’s growth rate,” Karunanidhi said.

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