Rs.1.30 lakh crore budget for Telangana

Hyderabad, March 14 (IANS) Telangana Finance Minister E. Rajender on Monday a presented tax-free, revenue surplus budget for 2016-17, proposing an expenditure of Rs.1,30,415 crore, an increase of more than 13 percent over the previous year.

This includes a plan expenditure of Rs.67,630 crore and non-plan outlay of Rs.62,785 crore.

Presenting the budget in the state assembly, Rajender said state’s own revenue receipts are proposed at Rs.72,412 crore as compared with Rs. 54,256 crore in revised estimates for 2015-16.

Transfers from the centre proposed in 2016-17 are Rs.28,512 crore as compared with Rs. 25,223.49 crore in 2015-16.

The budget estimates for 2016-17 indicate a revenue surplus of Rs.3,718 crore and a fiscal deficit of Rs.23,467 crores, which is 3.5 percent of estimated Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

Focussing on irrigation, the budget has allocated Rs.25,000 crore for the sector. This “unprecedented” allocation is for construction of irrigation projects and also for Mission Kakatiya, a flagship programme of the TRS government for rejuvenation of irrigation tanks.

Rajender termed the budget as a step towards fulfilling the dream of ‘Bangaru (golden) Telangana’.

Alleging that Telangana was always neglected by the governments in undivided Andhra Pradesh, he said “there is no instance of even Rs.10,000 crore being spent in Telangana under the Plan in any year”.

“Telangana remained a caged tiger till 2nd June, 2014. Now that the state is free of all shackles, it is poised to emerge as one of the fastest growing and welfare states in the country,” he said.

He claimed that Telangana has embarked on path breaking and innovative steps to give the much needed boost to the economy, which remained neglected so far. “Perhaps, there is no other state in the country which has embarked on such a wide ranging initiatives within the shortest possible time,” he said.

He noted that there has been a significant improvement in the growth of GSDP since the formation of the state, despite below normal rainfall in two consecutive years.

GSDP is estimated to grow at an impressive rate of 11.7 percent in 2015-16 at current prices, despite a negative growth in the agriculture and allied sector. This growth rate is more than the national average of 8.6 percent.

The per capita income of the state at current prices improved by 12.7 percent in 2014-15 to Rs.1,29,182 and is estimated to further improve by 10.7 percent to Rs.1,43,023 in 2015-16, much higher than the national average of Rs.93,231.

The finance minister said Mission Bhagiratha, the ambitious project for supply of piped drinking water supply to every household, was expected to be completed in the next three years at an estimated cost of Rs.40,000 crore. Nearly 6,100 villages are likely to receive water by December 2016. Efforts are on to cover nearly 95 percent of the villages by December 2017.

“Innovative extra-budgetary financing options have been drawn up to fund the entire cost of ‘Mission Bhagiratha’ with committed financial assistance from HUDCO, NABARD, Bank of India and other financial institutions,” he said.

Stating that 680 MW electricity was generated since the state’s formation, Rajender promised that there will never be any power cuts in future. The state plans to achieve power generating capacity of 23,912 MW in next three years.

A total financial closure amounting to Rs.91,500 crore has been achieved so far by TSGENCO, Singareni Collieries, NTPC and the solar power units. He announced nine hours of power supply to agriculture from the next kharif season.

The budgetary allocation for agriculture, cooperation and marketing departments is Rs.6,759 crore and for medical and health Rs.4,932 crore.

For education, the minister proposed Rs. 1,694 crore under plan and Rs. 9044 crores under non-plan.

Referring to another flagship scheme of the government, he said one double bed room houses for poor will be constructed in Greater Hyderabad and another one lakh in other parts of the state during 2016-17. The entire cost will be met through extra-budgetary resources from HUDCO and other financial institutions.

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