OPS slams DMK for leaving state in red

Finance minister O. Panneerselvam accused the previous DMK regime of de-stabilising the state’s economy and plunging TN into a debt trap by ‘squandering’ money to implement schemes like free colour TVs which in no way helped to alleviate poverty or trigger development in the state.

“Whenever the DMK came to power it weakened the state economy and whenever the AIADMK under Amma (chief minister J. Jayalalithaa) captured power, it improved the economy,” he said retorting to former DMK minister Duraimurugan during a fiery debate on TN’s fiscal position in the House on Wednesday.

The previous DMK regime incurred debts amounting to Rs 43,892 crore and left the state with a revenue deficit of Rs 6,249.68 crore during the last two years of its rule. Apart from repaying the loans, the AIADMK government created assets to the tune of Rs 14,388 crore.

Mr Duraimurugan said the present government imposed new taxes, whereas the then DMK government had ensured a tax-free regime. Joining the issue, local administration minister K. P. Munusamy said the previous DMK government left several projects unfinished as it failed to mobilise funds to meet the expenses.

“Did you not intervene 60 times when the chief minister, as opposition leader then, spoke on the budget,” Speaker D. Jayakumar asked when Duraimurugan complained that frequent interventions by the Treasury Benches prevented him from completing his speech. Immediately, Ms Jayalalithaa corrected the Speaker saying the then DMK ministers intervened 65 times during her speech.

Winding up the debate on the budget, Panneerselvam said while DMK government registered revenue deficit of Rs 2,729 cr, the AIADMK government’s fiscal management practices would ensure a revenue surplus close to Rs 1,500 cr. These are not taxes meant to affect the common man. “The mobilisation of additional revenue would reduce TN’s borrowing and boost the capital expenditure, he added.

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