The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to defer presentation of the full State Budget for 2024-25 by a month or so.

The State Assembly sessions slated to commence from July 22 may see N Chandrababu Naidu-led NDA Government present a vote-on-account to buy more time to work on the full-fledged Budget proposals likely to be presented in September, an official told businessline.

Naidu, who was recently in Delhi to meet important ministers in the Government, has sought substantial financial support to help reconstruct Andhra Pradesh. He had also met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Expectations are that Sitharaman may offer something to the State when she presents the Budget on July 23. According to the buzz in the corridors of the Finance Ministry, financial aid of about ₹1-lakh crore was discussed by the State Chief Minister in Delhi.

Top of agenda

Naidu said that a White Paper on the State finances will be released, which could serve as a run-up to the full Budget to be presented in due course. Apart from ascertaining the position of State finances, Naidu would also like to wait for clarity on the flow of funds from the Centre before listing out the State Budget proposals. Financial support for Greenfield Amaravati Capital Project and completion of Polavaram project are on top of the government’s agenda, as declared by Naidu after assuring the power.

“The State government is keen on giving a head start to mega projects, including Amaravati, for speedy development of the State, along with fulfilling the poll promises. As it inherited a cash-starved State exchequer, it will take some time to document the liabilities and devise ways and means to garner more revenue while plugging in loopholes,’‘ the official said.

‘Super six’ schemes

The promise of ‘Super Six’ welfare schemes in the pre-poll joint manifesto of NDA allies — TDP, Jana Sena and BJP — will also weigh heavily on the State exchequer as it included increase in monthly welfare pensions with effect from April1, 2024 and free travel for women. Andhra Pradesh has already implemented an increase in welfare pensions, which itself resulted in an additional burden of₹819 crore, benefitting 65 lakh pensioners in the State.

As per RBI data, the total outstanding liabilities of Andhra Pradesh government rose from ₹2,64,338 crore in 2019 to ₹4,85,490 crore, as of March 2024. As a percentage of the gross State domestic product, they stood at 33.5 per cent.

There has not been much increase in devolution and transfer of financial resources from the Centre to the State, which had gone up by about 3 per cent from ₹91,094 crore in 2022-23 to ₹94,747 crore in 2023-24. So, Naidu’s ability to get more funds from the Centre will be crucial.