Telangana presents Rs 2.56 lakh crore budget

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Telangana Finance Minister T. Harish Rao on Monday presented a Rs 2.56 lakh crore budget for financial year 2022-23, up from last year’s budget size of Rs 2.31 lakh crore.

Presenting the budget in the Assembly, he proposed total expenditure of Rs 2,56,958.51 crore. Out of this, revenue expenditure is Rs 1,89,274.82 crore and capital expenditure is Rs 29,728.44 crore.

The government allocated Rs 17,700 crore for Dalit Bandhu, a new scheme launched last year on pilot basis for economic empowerment of Dalits. Under the scheme, every Dalit family will get Rs 10 lakh grant for any entrepreneurial activity of its choice.

Harish Rao called it a historic and first of its kind scheme in the country providing the highest amount of assistance directly to the beneficiary.

In all the Assembly segments of the state, 11,800 families would get the benefit at the rate of 100 families per Assembly segment.

He said by the end of the next financial year, the programme would cover two lakh families, and the government is determined to cover all the Dalit families in the state in a phased manner.

Stating that Telangana recovered much faster following the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, Harish Rao said as per the advance estimates, the GSDP growth in 2021-22 is estimated at 11.2 per cent, at constant prices, as compared with the national GDP growth of 8.9 per cent.

At current prices, GSDP growth is estimated at 19.1 per cent as compared with the estimated GDP growth of 19.4 per cent.

He pointed out that the GSDP of Telangana in 2013-14, at the time of the state’s formation (2014) was Rs 4,51,580 crore, and by 2021-22, it has gone up to Rs 11,54,860 crore.

At the country level, during 2020-21, there was a negative growth rate of (-) 1.4 per cent due to the adverse impact of corona, and many states also registered negative growth rates. But Telangana clocked a positive growth rate of 2.2 per cent during 2020-21, he said.

“The fact that Telangana withstood the havoc of the pandemic is a testimony to the strong foundations laid since the formation of the state for sustained and resilient economy.”

The contribution of Telangana to the country’s GDP improved from 4.06 per cent in 2014-15 to 4.97 per cent in 2021-22. During the last seven years, Telangana is the only state in the country whose contribution in the national economy has grown by almost 1 per cent, the minister said.

He said that the growth of Telangana has become much more broad-based. Industry and services sectors recorded impressive growth over 2020-21, and the secondary sector consisting of manufacturing and construction recorded an impressive growth of 21.5 per cent in current prices over contraction of 0.3 per cent in 2020-21.

The services sector too improved its performance significantly to 18.3 per cent in the current year over the previous year’s growth of 0.9 per cent.

He claimed that in terms of growth of per capita income, Telangana’s performance has been spectacular. In 2014-15, the per capita income of Telangana at Rs 1,24,104 was higher than the national per capita income of Rs 86,647 by 1.43 times. By 2021-22, the per capita income of the state at Rs 2,78,833 exceeded the national average of Rs 1,49,848 by 1.86 times.

The state recorded a higher growth of 18.8 per cent in per capita income in 2021-22 as compared with the national growth of 18.1 per cent. In 2020-21, Telangana is a top-ranking state in per capita income among all the southern states. This is the achievement of the people of Telangana, he said.

Harish Rao said Telangana maintained its growth momentum even in adverse situations and that it has emerged as an economic powerhouse and as one of the fastest-growing states in the country.

He slammed the Centre for discrimination towards the state, and creating hurdles in the path of progress of the State, saying that instead of incentivising the states which are progressing, the Centre is trying to actively discourage them.

Harish Rao said the promises made in the Reorganisation Act are also not yet fulfilled. “As if this was not enough, whenever there is a discussion on the formation of Telangana, it is commented that it is like – ‘killing the mother for saving the baby’. These comments made by the elders at the Centre are an insult to the people of Telangana.”

Noting that the Information Technology and Investment Region project allocated to Telangana was cancelled, he said that 9 districts of the erstwhile state were notified as backward districts, but the grant which was supposed to be given to these districts is delayed. On one hand, the Centre talks about cooperative federalism, but on the other, it acts against the spirit of federalism and is encroaching on the powers of the state, he said.

He recalled that NITI Aayog had recommended that an amount of Rs 24,205 crore be released for Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya schemes, but “the Centre has not even released 24 paise”.

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended that during 2020-21, an amount of Rs 723 crore is to be given to Telangana as a special grant, but the same was disregarded.

State specific grants of Rs 2,362 crore and sector specific grants of Rs 3,024 crore were also denied. In all, a sum of Rs 5,386 crore were denied to Telangana by the Centre, which did not even extend financial assistance to tackle Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

The enhanced borrowing under FRBM was linked to reforms in the power sector, and Telangana will be deprived of Rs 25,000 crore over the next five years, he said, adding that the “autocratic attitude of the Centre can be understood from this”.

“For the sake of these Rs 25,000 crore, the state has to implement a series of reforms in the power sector which are particularly against the farming community interests. The state government is not interested in making the farmers pay for the power which is being provided to them. That is not the policy of Telangana state. Chief Minister KCR has told Centre that such a policy would not be implemented as long as he is alive.”

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