Telangana minorities’ welfare budget estimated at Rs 2262 cr

The amount allocated is marginally higher than Rs 2,200.34 crore (5% increase) allocated to minority welfare in 2023-24 by the former BRS government. The allocation falls short of the Congress'promise to increase the budget to Rs 4000 crores.

Hyderabad: Falling short on its promise, the Congress government in Telangana allocated Rs 2,262 crore towards minorities’ welfare budget as it released its estimate for 2024-25 on Saturday, February 10.

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The deputy chief minister and finance minister of Telangana Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka presented the vote on account Budget for 2024-25 on Saturday, February 10, with an outlay of Rs 2,75,891 crore, with Rs 53,196 crore estimated to be spent on implementation of six guarantees. However, the Congress government failed to meet its poll promise of allocating a budget of Rs 4000 crore towards Telangana minorities’ welfare.

Further, the amount is marginally higher than Rs 2,200.34 crore allocated to minority welfare in 2023-24 by the former BRS government.

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The period from 2014-15 to 2015-16 saw a 9.71% increase in budgetary allocation towards minorities welfare, followed by steady growth in the next two years, with an increase of 6.55% and 3.78%, respectively.

The data clearly shows a remarkable surge of 60.07% in budgetary allocation for Telangana minorities’ welfare in 2017-18 and a sharp decrease of 31.50% in 2018-19. The budget was increased with the sole purpose of expanding TMRIES schools in the state.

The trend reversed again, showing growth in the budget allocation in the subsequent years: 10.81% in 2019-20, 13.88% in 2020-21, and an impressive 27.28% in 2022-23. The latest data from 2023-24 to 2024-25 indicates a more moderate increase of 2.80%, showcasing the volatile yet upward trajectory of the analyzed metric over the decade.

However, this allocation is likely to increase after the Lok Sabha elections when the budget estimate will be revised and a full-fledged budget for 2024-25 will be released.

Last year, former finance minister Harish Rao announced a budget of Rs 2,200.34 crore for minorities in Telangana of which Rs 1,600.36 crore was for schemes and nearly Rs 600 crore was allocated for administrative expenditure, including maintenance and other expenses of minority institutions.

Minorities, who make up 14.24% of the total population in Telangana, were allocated the following amounts towards welfare in the respective fiscal years: Rs. 1,030 crore in 2014-15, Rs. 1,130 crore in 2015-16, Rs. 1,204 crore in 2016-17, Rs. 1,249.49 crore in 2017-18, Rs. 2,000 crore in 2018-19, Rs. 1,369.95 crore in 2019-20, Rs. 1,518.05 crore in 2020-21, Rs. 1,728.71 crore in 2022-23, and Rs. 2,200.34 crore in 2023-24.

Minority Welfare Department was established in 1993, at that time the budget for minority welfare was Rs 1.20 crores. According to census 2011, the minority population in Telangana is 50.05 lakh. The government set up the Commissionerate for Minority Welfare in 2012 to effectively implement schemes related to the welfare of minorities.

Ahead of the Telangana elections, the Congress party released a minority declaration including detailed schemes for Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians.

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