Harish Rao presents Rs. 2.96 lakh crore budget

Hyderabad: Finance Minister T. Harish Rao on Monday presented a budget of Rs. 2,90,396 crore for the Telangana State for the financial year 2023-24. This is Rs. 45,139 Crore higher than the previous budget of Rs. 2,45,257 crore of 2022-23.

In the Budget 2023-24, presented in the Legislative Assembly today, of the total proposed  expenditure of Rs.2,90,396 crore  the Revenue Expenditure is Rs.2,11,685 crore and the Capital Expenditure proposed is Rs.37,525 crore. Interestingly, the Finance Minister did not give details of the estimated Revenue Receipts or the fiscal deficit during the financial year 2023-24. 

Harish Rao claimed that under the leadership of Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao garu, Telangana has achieved significant development within a short period of eight-and-a-half years. Both in welfare and development, he said Telangana has become a role model for the entire country. “We can rightfully claim that whatever is being implemented in Telangana is being followed by the entire country,” he claimed.

“The ‘Telangana model’, which combines humanitarian approach, constructive thinking, futuristic planning and transparent administration, is getting accolades both nationally and internationally. Despite problems arising out of economic recession and Corona Pandemic, Telangana has been successful in withstanding their adverse impacts and emerged as a strong economic power. Only the Telangana government has been able to efficiently manage its economy and implement welfare programmes on a large scale even during the crisis period,” he said.

Harish Rao said that the average annual GSDP growth rate of the State from 2014-15 to 2019-20 had increased by 13.2%. In the same period, the growth rate of GDP was lower at 10.2%. “The Corona Pandemic severely impacted the world economy. Telangana has recovered from this crisis within a short period and is marching ahead steadily. Telangana has created history by recording the highest growth rate of 11.8% in per capita income during the period 2017-18 to 2021-22 among the Southern States. NITI Aayog in its Report has observed that Telangana has emerged as one of the fastest growing States, after its formation as a separate State. After the formation of the State, Telangana has been recording higher than GDP growth rate every year,” he said.

The Finance Minister said that the share of Telangana in GDP improved from 4.1% in 2014-15 to 4.9% in 2020-21. It is a matter of pride that Telangana is contributing 4.9% to GDP though its share in national population is only 2.9%. In comparison to18 major States in the country, the growth performance of Telangana is impressive. Telangana stands at the third place with an average annual GSDP growth rate of 12.6% from 2015-16 to 2021-22, he said.

Further, he said that the per capita income of Telangana is estimated to increase from Rs.1,12,162 in 2013-14 to Rs.3,17,115 in 2022-23. This is higher than the national per capita income of Rs.1,70,620 by 86%. As compared with the national per capita income, per capita income of Telangana is higher by Rs.1,46,495. This is clearly an indication of the significant development of Telangana, he said.

Harish Rao dedicated an entire chapter of his budget speech on the “Hurdles created by Centre to the development of Telangana”.

“The Central government has been creating hurdles after hurdles. In order to complete the irrigation projects within the shortest time, Telangana government resorted to off-budget borrowings well within the limits of FRBM Act. During the current year, based on our economic performance and borrowing limits, an amount of Rs.53,970 crore has been included in the Budget as borrowings. This was approved by the August House. But the Central government unilaterally imposed a cut of Rs.15,033 crore and reduced our borrowing limits to Rs.38,937 crore. This decision of the Centre is totally unjustified and uncalled for. These kinds of cuts are against the spirit of federalism and have eroded the rights of the States,” he said.

He also listed out the other injustices done by the Central Govt with Telangana by not releasing the funds and grants. He also slammed the Centre for not fulfilling the promises made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

In his 71-page speech, Harish Rao praised the Chief Minister 59 times and criticised the Centre about 26 times.

The major allocations made in the budget for various departments are: Panchayat Raj and Rural Development  – Rs. 31,426 Cr; Irrigation Department – Rs. 26,885 Cr; Agriculture & Cooperation Department – Rs. 26,831 Cr; Roads and Building Department – Rs. 22,260 Cr; Scheduled Castes Development Department – Rs. 21,022 Cr; Secondary Education, Secretariat Department – Rs. 16,092 Cr; Energy Department – Rs. 12,727 Cr; Health, Medical & Family Welfare Department  – Rs. 12,161 Cr; Planning Department – Rs. 11,495 Cr;  Municipal Administration & Urban Development – Rs. 11,372 Cr; Home Department – Rs. 9,599 Cr; Backward Class Welfare Department – Rs. 6,229 Cr; Industries & Commerce Department – Rs. 4,037 Cr;  Tribal Welfare Department – Rs. 3,965 Cr; Revenue Department – Rs. 3,560 Cr; Food & Civil Supplies Department – Rs. 3,117 Cr; Higher Education Department – Rs. 3,001 Cr; Minorities Welfare Department – Rs. 2,200 Cr; Women, Children, Disabled & Senior Citizens – Rs. 2,131 Cr and Animal Husbandry & Fisheries Department – Rs. 2,071 Cr.A whopping Rs. 49,749 crore have been kept with the Finance Department. (INN)

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