Amaravati: Amid somber conditions that prevailed in the state government in the backdrop of confrontation with the Centre, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu proposed annual budget for 2018-19 “anticipating the Central government would release all the dues as per AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 at least this year”.

The state government has presented the annual budget of Rs 1.91 lakh crore making a significant portion of the budgetary allocation to various welfare measures with an eye on general elections. 

While the Finance Minister stating that the state at the crossroads of development and deficit because of increasing indifference of Central government in extending AP’s entitlements as per AP Reorganisation Act, he allocated 30.925 more funds to social sector comparing to 2017-18.

The revenue expenditure is estimated Rs 1,50,271 crore; while the capital expenditure is estimated at around Rs 28,678 crore, including Rs 9,351 crore towards principal repayment of public debt. The overall increase of 2018-19 budget is 21.69 5 over the 2017-18 budget estimates. The state government presented budget of Rs 1.56 lakh crore for 2017-18.

Yanamala said the government could post a healthy growth rate of 11.22 per cent during the financial year 2017-18. However, the finance minister estimated a revenue surplus of around Rs 5,235 crore for 2018-19. In fact, the revenue deficit for 2017-18 was estimated Rs 4,018 crore which was 0.51 per cent in the GSDP.

Similarly, the fiscal deficit has reduced to Rs 24,205 crore for 2018-19 which was estimated Rs 27,603 crore for last year. The fiscal deficit will be around 2.78 per cent of the GSDP where the revenue surplus would be around 060 per cent of the GSDP for current financial year. The public debt has gone up to Rs 33,461 crore, which was Rs 30,000 crore in 2017-18.

Yanamala did a balancing act in allocations between economic services and social services. The budgetary allocation for economic services is Rs 67,830 crore while the allocations for social services is Rs 67,120 crore. The government increased funds by 152.62 per cent to housing, 92.45 per cent to labour and employment, 66.525 to water and sanitation and 62.70 per cent to sports and youth services.

As part of welfare measures, the government has proposed to introduce Adarana scheme for providing financial assistance for BCs to provide modern handset tools and gadgets and allocated Rs 750 crore. The overall allocation for BCs is Rs 12,200 crore with 205 increase.

The allocation for Dulhan scheme is 80 crore and the total allocation for minority welfare is Rs 849 core with an increase of 31 per cent. For the first time, the government allocated Rs 100 crore for providing sanitary napkins to adolescent girls and DWACRA women. 

The government also allocated Rs 11,228 crore for SC component with an increase of 14 per cent and Rs 4,176 crore with an increase of 18 per cent. The government also allocated Rs 4,100 crore for debt redemption scheme  for the farmer loan waiver scheme. Besides, Rs 9,000 crore has been allocated to flagship Polavaram project while the total allocation for irrigation department is Rs 16,978 crore.