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Telangana presents tax-free budget

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Hyderabad: Telangana government today presented a tax-free budget for 2016-17, proposing a total expenditure of Rs 1,30,415.87 crore.

The Non-Plan Expenditure is Rs 62,785.14 crore and Plan Expenditure is Rs 67,630.73 crore.

“This is unprecedented as the proposed expenditure under Plan is higher than that under Non-Plan. This has been done without compromising on non-plan commitments by a combination of rationalisation of expenditure and resource augmentation,” state Finance Minister E Rajender said in his budget speech.

With the adoption of 2011-12 as the base year for the estimation of GSDP as was done by the Centre last year, the borrowings under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) legislation are likely to be a little higher in the upcoming fiscal.

The budget estimates indicate a revenue surplus of Rs 3,718.37 crore and a fiscal deficit of Rs 23,467.29 crore, which is 3.5 per cent of the estimated GSDP.

The higher revenue surplus is entirely on account of the proposed allocation of Rs 25,000 crore to the irrigation sector, which is mostly capital.

The state’s own revenue receipts are proposed at Rs 72,412.23 crore in 2016-17 as compared with Rs 54,256.71 crore in revised estimates (RE) 2015-16.

Transfers from the Centre proposed in the Budget Estimates (BE) 2016-17 are Rs 28,512.52 crores as compared to Rs 25,223 crores in 2015-16 BE.

The budget proposed an amount of Rs 4,675 crore under a ‘Special Development Fund’ to meet contingencies that arise during the year “which cannot be anticipated in advance and which need to be immediately addressed to”.

Noting that nearly 40 per cent of the population in the state is urban and that it is projected to grow further, the budget proposed Rs 4,815 crore for 2016-17.

The total provision proposed for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development is Rs 10,731 crore, including the provision for MGNREGS.

According to the budget, important new buildings, including new Secretariat complex, new building for the Legislative Assembly, a new international convention centre, offices for MLAs, CM’s camp office, residential buildings for officers, additonal buildings at Raj Bhavan and Telangana Kalabharati (a venue for cultural events) are proposed to be taken up during 2016-17.

The provision proposed for roads and bridges is Rs 3,333 crore and that for building is Rs 457 crore.

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