Finance Minister Eatela Rajender presented in the Telangana Assembly yet another jumbo budget with an estimated total expenditure of Rs.1,74,453.84 Crore for the year 2018-19.
Presenting his fifth budget for the newly formed Telangana State, incidentally in the absence of main Congress Opposition including the Leader of the Opposition , the Finance Minister said the estimated total expenditure would be Rs.1,74,453.84 Crore . Of this the revenue expenditure would be Rs.1,25,454.70 Crore and capital expenditure Rs.33,369.10 Crore. As a matter of the capital expenditure which is 19 percent of the total expenditure was substantially higher when compare to other states, he explained and pointed out that even in the combined state of Andhra Pradesh it was only Rs.15,280 Crore during 2013-14.
According to the Finance Minister the estimated revenue surplus for the year 2018-19 would be Rs.5,520.41 Crore and fiscal deficit Rs.29,077.07 Crore. The fiscal deficit is 3.45 percent of GSDP, he added.
Asserting that the growth of agricultural sector was vital for the development of the state, the Finance Minister with this in view the government had decided to provide immediate relief to the farmers by waiving crop loans in the first instance. Crop loans of 35,29,944 farmers amounting to Rs.16,124 Crore was paid by the government to the banks.
Rajender further said from the year 2018-19 on wards the government would provide investment support of Rs.4000/- per acre per crop for two crops ( totaling to Rs.8000/- per acre). The investment support for khariff season would be distributed from April onwards and for Rabi season from November onwards. For this scheme an amount of Rs.12,000 Crore has been proposed in the budget.
As land records was very essential for providing investment support to farmers, the Finance Minister said the government had embarked upon the gigantic task of updation programme (LRUP) and land records pertaining to 10,823 villages were verified in respect of 72,13,111 khatas and thus certified/purified 96 percent of land records as litigation free and up to date.
The government would soon launch “DHARANI” website with details of all land records in the state, he said.
The other budgetary made by the Finance Minister for various sectors are as follows:
Rythu Bhima Pathakam : Rs.500 Crore for providing life insurance cover of Rs. Five lakhs under the proposed new Farmer Group Insurance Scheme.
Promotion of Farm Mechanization: Government is supplying machinery and spare parts at a subsidized price for tractors, farm equipment, tarpaulins and sprayers ranging from 50 percent to 95 percent. For this an allocation of Rs.522 Crore has been proposed in the budget.
Drip Irrigation and Polyhouse and greenhouse Cultivation : Fourteen lakh acres are cultivated with drip irrigation in the state so far and the government is proposing to bring another 29 lakh acres under micro/drip irrigation by providing subsidies to SCs, STS, BCs and small and marginal farmers. For promoting micro irrigation an amount of Rs.127 crores has been proposed. An amount of Rs.120 Crore has been proposed for polyhouse and greenhouse cultivation.
Agriculture and Marketing : An amount of Rs.15,788 Crore has been earmarked.
Civil Supplies sector has been allocated Rs.2,946 Crore.
Irrigation Projects : With an aim of providing irrigation facilities to one crore acres, the government has undertaken construction irrigation projects. As many as 23 major and 13 medium irrigation projects were being constructed on Godavri and Krishna Rivers. Palamuru project is progressing rapidly, Kaleshwaram project with reservoirs and canals expected to completed in two years. Mission Kakatiya for rejuvenation of tanks. Thus an amount of Rs.25,000 Crore has been proposed for Irrigation sector.
Revival of Rural Economy: For comprehensive de3velopment of villages and strengthen the Panchayat System, government is slated to introduce “New Panchayat Raj Bill”. The government also appointed the First Telangana State Finance Commission for recommending devolution of financial resources to rural and urban local bodies. For strengthening the
Rural local bodies Rs.1500 Crore and for urban local bodies Rs.1000 has been allocated.
Welfare Sector: An amount of Rs.1450 Crore has been proposed in the budget for Kalyana Lakshmi/ Shadi Mubarak schemes.
Women and Child Welfare: Rs.1,799 Crores; Special Development Funds for SCs Rs.16,453 Crore and Special Development Fund for STs Rs.9,693 Crore, for distribution of three acres of land to dalits Rs.1,469 Crores; Tribal Welfare Department Rs.8063 Crore; Rs.5,920 Crore for Backward Class Welfare; Rs.2000 Croes for Minorities Welfare.
Double Bedrooms: Throughout the state 2,72,763 two bedroom houses hav e been sanctioned of these 9,522 hav e been completed and 1,68,981 houses are in progress. Fro the construction of double bedroom houses Rs.2,643 Crore allocated.
Medical and Health Sector has been allocated Rs.7,375 Crore; Rs.10,830 Crore for School Education, Rs.2,448 Crore for Higher Education.; Rs.5,650 Crore for Power Sector; handlooms and Textiles sector Rs.1,200 Crore; Industries and Commerce Departments Rs.1,286 Crore.