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TRS govt proposes welfare-oriented, tax-free budget

HYDERABAD: The Telangana government today presented a welfare-oriented, tax-free budget, focusing on irrigation and reviving traditional occupations of the backward classes, for 2017-18 with a proposed expenditure of nearly Rs 1.50 lakh crore.

“An amount of Rs 1,49,646 crore is proposed as total expenditure consisting of an estimated committed expenditure of Rs 61,607.20 crore and an expenditure of Rs 88,038.80 crore under ‘expenditure on schemes’,” state Finance Minister E Rajender said in his Budget speech.

The revenue-surplus budget was in tune with the Centre’s decision to do away with the classification of expenditure into plan and non-plan and stuck “only to the Constitutional mandate of classifying expenditure into revenue and capital”.

Towards the TRS government’s goal of creating irrigation potential of one crore acres, the budget proposed to allocate Rs 25,000 crore in 2017-18 for irrigation.

For the TRS government’s flagship ‘Mission Bhagiratha’ scheme to provide piped drinking water to every household in the state, it allocated an amount of Rs 3,000 crore.

In order to “reduce the burden on the State Budget”, extra-budgetary resources are being mobilised to fund the mission, Rajender said.

The budget stressed on boosting rural economy, including reviving traditional occupations of backward classes.

Rajender said the government would introduce a major scheme for development of sheep-rearing and also take steps to promote fisheries.

An amount of Rs 500 crore has been proposed for welfare of washermen and ‘Nayi Brahmins’ (the community of barbers). An amount of Rs 1,200 crore has been mooted for assistance of weavers.

The Corporation set up for welfare of Most Backward Classes would get Rs 1,000 crore.

The total amount proposed in the budget for welfare of backward classes was Rs 5,070.36 crore.

Welfare of women and child development has got Rs 1,731.50 crore in the budget.

The total amount proposed under different schemes for welfare of SCs is Rs 14,375.12 crore. The provision for welfare of STs is Rs 8,165.88 crore. The amount for welfare of minorities is Rs 1,249.66 crore.

The ‘Aasara’ social security pensions’ provision was Rs 5,330 crore. The budget allocated Rs 1,939.93 crore towards students’ tuition fees reimbursement.

The budget proposed a provision of Rs 4,000 crore towards the fourth and final instalment of farm loan waiver scheme of the TRS government.

In the agriculture sector, the target for credit disbursal by banks to the farm sector has been fixed at Rs 46,946.98 crore in 2017-18.