Telangana Robust budget
- Harish presents `4,480-cr surplus budget
- Tax-free budget focuses on non-tax revenue
- Total outlay up by 25 per cent in 2020-21
- Ryots welfare, Aasara, housing get lion’s share
- Loan waiver scheme for farmers announced
Hyderabad: Notwithstanding the impact of economic slowdown and slash in flow of Central funds, the Telangana government has tried to strike a balance between welfare and development in its budget 2020-21.
"We have adopted a pragmatic approach in preparing the budget," Finance Minister Harish Rao said, while presenting his maiden budget in the Assembly.
The government's flagship programmes - Rythu Bandhu, farm loan waiver, 2-bedroom housing scheme, Aasara pensions and industrial incentive scheme got substantial allocations in the new budget.
Just a few days ahead of Ugadi, the government announced the launch of the loan waiver scheme for farmers from this month.
Around 5.83 lakh farmers who have outstanding loans below Rs 25,000 will be eligible for the scheme in one go.
The farming community who have up to Rs 1 lakh debt burden will get loan waiver benefit in four instalments. The allocations for Rythu Bandhu has been increased to Rs 14,000 crore.
Expressing its intention to give a big push to the housing scheme, a whopping Rs 11,000 crore has been earmarked for the housing scheme for the first time.
Under this scheme, financial aid will be provided to one lakh people to build houses in their own lands. Besides completing the ongoing 2 BHK houses.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao claimed that it was a robust budget. The outlay has been increased by 24 per cent in 2020-21 as compared to the current financial year 2019-20.
With a Rs 4,480 crore revenue surplus budget, the farmers welfare, pension hike, welfare of all sections, housing and urban development will get a top priority.
A cursory look at the budget indicates that the capital expenditure did not get much attention in the total budget outlay of Rs 1.82 lakh crore.
Scheme expenditure is estimated at Rs 1.04 lakh crore and the establishment expenditure will be Rs 78,301 crore.
The government has pegged the total revenue receipts at Rs 1.43 lakh revenue receipts and the fiscal deficit will be around Rs 33,00 crore.
To meet the growing financial needs, the government has decided to double the non-tax revenue being generated mainly through land sales and mining.
The revenue targets from stamps and registration and excise had also been increased more than 30 per cent which is normally 10 to 15 per cent in the previous financial years.
The government, however, admitted that there has been a slight decline in the growth rate of GSDP from 14.3 per cent in 2018-29 to 12.6 per cent in 2019-20 due to economic slowdown but still it achieved double digit growth.
The opposition however said it was all jugglery of figures. The government also announced the reduction in age limit for Aasara pension scheme to 57 years from 65 and the outlay for the scheme has been increased to Rs 11,758 crore from 9,402 crore.
The municipal administration department has also got a windfall with the allocation of more than Rs 10,000 crore. Similarly, it allocated Rs 11,054 crore for irrigation.