Telangana government has proposed a whopping Rs 10,000 crore for the development of Hyderabad among other significant outlays, including Rs 11,917 crore for weaker section housing and Rs 6,225 crore towards phase-1 farm loan waiver on top of other big allocations to the existing flagship welfare and development programmes made in the annual budget for the year 2020-21.
The bigger and more public spending plans comes on the back of an anticipated rebound in the own tax and non-tax revenue as the government has proposed more than 27 per cent increase in budget expenditure at Rs 1,82,914.42 crore for the year 2020-21 with a revenue surplus of Rs 4,482 crore. The fiscal deficit was pegged at Rs 33,191 crore.
It may be recalled that the state government had slashed its annual expenditure estimate to Rs 1,46,544 crore in the full budget for the year 2019-20, which was approved in September 2019, from a similar level of Rs 1,82,016 crore proposed by chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao government during the vote-on-account budget passed in February 2019, citing the economic slowdown.
Even though the state government expects a meager 4.62 per cent increase in share in central taxes at Rs 16,726 crore besides a 7.2 per cent decline in grants-in-aid at Rs 10,525 crore from the Centre in 2020-21, it hopes to largely mobilise the resources necessary for the enhanced allocations on its own.
The state government also said that it was expecting a reduction in tax devolution by an amount of Rs 2,384 crore in 2020-21 following the reduction in share of Telangana in Central tax devolution from 2.437 percent to 2.133 percent as recommended by the Fifteenth Finance Commission.
Making up for the expected funding shortfall from the Centre, the government proposed a 20 percent jump in estimated own tax revenue at Rs 85,300 crore and close to 50 percent increase in non-tax revenue at Rs 30,600 crore out of the total estimated revenue receipts of Rs 1,43,151 crore while it hopes to raise an additional Rs 39,550 crore by way of capital receipts to support the expenditure programme in 2020-21.
The revenue growth was just about 6.3 percent during the current year up to February, 2019, according to finance minister T Harish Rao.
Presenting the annual budget in the state legislative assembly on a general holiday-Sunday, finance minister Rao said the state government has been aiming to achieve a higher economic growth by enhancing the living standards and purchasing power of people through various welfare and development programmes.
Implementing the programmes requiring big outlays was not a new thing for chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao. However, the government has made allocations focusing Hyderabad and housing at this scale for the first time.
” The Telangana government has estimated that Rs 50,000 crore is required in the next five years to take up development works in the capital city which is being transformed into an international city. An amount of Rs 10,000 crore is proposed in this budget to carry out Musi River purification and Musi Riverfront project and all other special projects ad works in Hyderabad urban agglomeration area,”the minister said.
Also, allocation of close to Rs 12,000 crore for housing in a single year by the state government was a big record. The move seen in the light of increased criticism from the opposition over the delay in completion of over 2.5 lakh double bed room houses KCR had promised that his government would give free of cost to eligible poor way back in 2014 elections. One lakh of these housing units were proposed to be built within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) which goes to polls next year.
The state government has also increased the allocations for other subsidy, welfare programmes as the ruling party had promised the enhanced monetary benefit under various schemes in the last elections. For instance the amount of Rs 11,758 crore was proposed in this budget for Aasara Pensions (social security pensions for old, differently abled and widows). Amount for Rytubandhu scheme is enhanced to Rs 14,000 crore as the government had promised to enhance the investment support for farmland to Rs 5,000 for each crop season from Rs 4,000 per acre. The government has also increased the subsidy support to power utilities to Rs 10,000 crore as compared to Rs 8000 crore as farmers are now getting 24/7 free power.
Explaining the achievements of his government, finance minister Harish Rao said the government’s continued focus on irrigation, agriculture and allied sectors had resulted in a 23.7 percent growth in crop sector, 17.3 percent in livestock and 8.1 percent growth in fisheries sector in 2019-20.
The minister announced that all those farm loans of up to Rs 25,000 would be waived off at one stroke and between Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh loan would be waived in four instalments starting this year.
According to the budget estimates, the outstanding public debt of the state government is expected to touch Rs 1,87,606 crore in 2020-21, an increase of 18.5 percent as compared to Rs 1,58,307 crore this year. In addition, the outstanding loan guarantees provided to various state corporations by the government stood at Rs 40,241 crore.