Telangana govt may go for populist Budget today

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 13, 2018

Etala Rajender, Telangana Finance Minister

Telangana Finance Minister Etala Rajender will present the State’s fourth Budget on Monday.

This year’s Budget proposals assume significance in view of the expectations from various quarters including the backward classes, job-seekers and traditional industrial sectors such as handlooms.

According to official sources, the government is likely to adopt a pro-weaker section approach by rolling out new welfare schemes for backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

The Budget will also be the first one with the removal of the age-old Plan and Non-Plan expenditure categorisation. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, who has been facing criticism for not fullfilling the 2014 election promise of providing one lakh government jobs to the youth, is expected to focus on the issue this year.

Industry focus

There has not been much focus on industry in the policy level after the launch of the new industrial policy, TS-iPASS, in 2015.

A broad allocation of ₹967 crore was made for “promotion of industries” in last year’s budget. The State also claims to have made significant investments in the power sector for over two-and-a-half years. The government may prefer to reap the benefit of earlier initiatives rather than roll out any new schemes for now.

The CM had already assured that 50,000 jobs will be provided during 2017-18 and it remains to be seen how the Budget will provision this.

Irrigation sector

For 2016-17, Telangana had unveiled a budget with an outlay of ₹1,30,415 crore with the bulk of allocations going for the irrigation sector.

A little less than one-third of the planned expenditure of ₹67,631 crore allocated for the irrigation sector was for spending on the government’s flagship programmes Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya.

“We have allotted ₹26,657 crore for the sector that seeks to revive 46,000 tanks and provide drinking water to all households in 12 municipalities and 6,100 villages,” Rajender has said.

The fiscal deficit for 2016-17 was pegged at ₹23,467 crore, which was 3.5 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.

Published on March 12, 2017

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