Eatala presents Rs 1.74 lakh cr budget
Eatala presents Rs 1.74 lakh cr budget

Hyderabad: Introducing two more new schemes aiming to address the plight of the majority farming community in the state, Telangana Finance Minister Eatala Rajendar on Thursday presented a ‘populist and revenue surplus’ budget with an outlay of Rs 1,74,453 crore budget, an increase of 16.6 per cent over the budget estimates of 2017-18.

Of the total outlay, Rs 1,04,757 crore was earmarked for expenditure meant for welfare and developmental programmes and Rs 69,695 crore will be spent on establishment expenditure mainly on salaries and to run the government.

The estimated revenue surplus in the new financial year, which begins on April 1, will be Rs 5,520 crore and the fiscal deficit will be Rs 29,077 crore which is 3.45 per cent of the total GSDP. In the budget estimates, State Own Tax Revenues (SOTR) are proposed at Rs 73,751 crore and the central devolutions are expected to be Rs 29,041 crore.

Calling it as ‘Rythu Lakshmi’ scheme, Rajendar said the government allocated Rs 12,000 crore alone for the investment support scheme under which Rs 4,000 per acre per crop for two crops will be given to every farmer. The investment support will be distributed from April in Kharif season and in Rabi, money will be given from November. 

The Finance Minister also announced another scheme for farmers – Rythu Bheema (farmers’ insurance) and proposed Rs 500 crore in the budget for rescue the distressed farmers who will be covered with a life insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh under the scheme.

Irrigation sector was also accorded top priority for the consecutive fourth year by allocating Rs 25,000 crore in the proposals for Mission Kakatiya and construction of the projects. The minister said the total revenue expenditure in the new financial year will be Rs 1,25,454 crore and capital expenditure is Rs 33,369 crore. He claimed Telangana was spending higher under capital expenditure, which is 19 per cent of total expenditure, among other states and helps the state to create assets.

Rajendar predicted the total expenditure would be much higher than the proposed Rs 1.25 lakh crore as the government was going for off – budget borrowings through the corporations for the implementation of many schemes mainly irrigation projects, Mission Bhagiratha, two-bed room housing and other schemes.

Despite short term to medium term impact of demonetisation and the single tax regime – GST, state achieved a double-digit growth, the minister said that the state recorded a growth of 14.1 per cent which was the highest since the formation of Telangana. Overall, the GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) at current prices is estimated to increase Rs 7,32,657 crore in 2017-18 as against Rs 6,41,985 crore in 2016-17.

The minister said that the per capita income of the state at current prices is also estimated to increase by 13.4 per cent from Rs 1,54,734 crore last year to Rs 1,75,534 crore this year. With the improvement of irrigation facility, renovation of tanks and round-the-clock power supply to the farming sector, the growth of agriculture and allied sectors is estimated to reach 6.9 per cent. Advance estimates also put the growth of manufacturing sector at 7.6 per cent as against 7.4 per cent last year because of the investment-friendly policies and quality required power supply.