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AP’s economic growth “impressive”, but debt set to zoom

Andhra Pradesh’s debt burden will shoot up to a staggering Rs 2,49,435 crore in the 2018-19 fiscal as the state continues to rely on heavy borrowings despite its “most impressive” economic growth story, a perusal of the government documents revealed.

The state’s debt burden had been steadily mounting since 2014-15 when it was bifurcated, going up from Rs 1,48,743 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,69,458 crore in 2015-16, Rs 2,01,314 in 2016-17 and Rs 2,25,234 crore in 2017-18, the state Budget and the Socio-Economic Survey (SES) revealed.

The Budget for 2018-19 and the SES 2017-18 were presented to the legislature today.

The state’s overall debt stood at Rs 2,25,234 crore, including Rs 23,483 crore of un-apportioned amount between AP and Telangana at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal.

The state s market borrowing was a whopping Rs 1,34,551 crore in 2017-18 as against Rs 1,12,630 crore the previous fiscal.

A sum of Rs 14,756 crore was paid as interest alone in 2017-18, which was over Rs 3,000 crore increase from Rs 11,697 crore the previous year, the SES revealed.

Market loans accounted for 60 per cent of the state s total debt, while 24 per cent was borrowed from other sources, the report said.

The state’s debt burden is estimated to shoot up to a staggering Rs 2,49,435 crore in the next fiscal, the documents revealed.

The state bifurcation blues notwithstanding, AP has recorded the “most impressive” per capita income (Net State Domestic Product) growth of 14.87 per cent in 2017-18, touching Rs 1,42,054 against the national average of Rs 1,12,764 as per advance estimates.

At current prices, this marks a substantial jump of Rs 18,390 from Rs 1,23,664 in 2016-17, the SES said.

“The growth performance of the state in the recent past is most impressive with the average growth during the last three years being 11 per cent.

“From Rs 1,07,276 in 2015-16, per capita incomes have also shown substantial jump to Rs 1,42,054. Thus, every year, on an average, nearly Rs 12,000 is being added to the per capita,” the SES report said.

The average annual increase of per capita income during the three years before the state bifurcation was around Rs 6,500 only, the report pointed out.

Significantly, the Gross State Domestic Product for 2017-18 shot up to Rs 6,07,388 crore from Rs 5,46,104 crore in the previous fiscal, registering a growth of 11.27 per cent.

The all-India GDP growth rate in 2017-18 was 6.6 per cent only, as per advance estimates.

“Despite an impressive rise in the growth performance, the fruits of growth and development are not fully percolating down to the last mile,” the report noted.


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