Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender on Monday presented a tax-free development-cum-welfare-oriented ₹1,49,446-crore Budget for 2017-18.

The budgetary allocation for several sectors is higher over the 2016-17 Budget of ₹1,30,415 crore (revised ₹1,13,083 crore).

Presenting his fourth Budget, the Finance Minister said the State is projected to achieve a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth of over 10.1 per cent during the current fiscal.

Seeking to balance welfare with development initiatives, he announced allocation of ₹5,943 crore for the agriculture sector and ₹4,000 crore towards fourth instalment of loan waiver scheme for the farm sector.

Sectorally, the irrigation sector has been allocated ₹25,000 crore, panchayati raj ₹14,723 crore, roads ₹5033 crore, power sector ₹4,203 crore, health ₹5,976 crore, municipal administration ₹5,599 crore, Mission Bhagiratha ₹3,000 crore, IT ₹253 crore, industries ₹985 crore and education ₹12,705 crore.

Focus on neglected sectors Glossing over the State’s achievements, he said a number of sectors hitherto neglected have got special focus and higher allocations.

Even if the power demand shoots up to 10,000 MW, he said the State is ready to meet such demand.

Stating that the budget reflects the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s concern for the welfare of the poor and the economic development of the State, he said this focus was similar to three previous budgets.

In the first eight months of the current fiscal, tax revenue was higher by 19.61 per cent achieved in spite of demonetisation impact on stamps and registration.

Transition process Following the Union Government’s decisions, the State has done away with Plan and non-Plan approach to stick to classification of expenditure into revenue and capital.

Rajender said Telangana was in the process of a major transition from a shackled economy to that of an economy which is being nurtured back to fulfilling the long-pending aspirations of the people.

Under the special development fund for SCs and STs, allocation of ₹14,375 crore and ₹8,166 crore have respectively been made.

Towards minority welfare, the State has allocated ₹1,259.66 crore and set aside ₹1,940 crore for fee reimbursement. Expecting tourism to be a job creator, the State has earmarked ₹198 crore.

The Minister said thus far, approvals have been given to 345 industries with investment proposals of ₹58,341 core and employment potential of 2.2 lakh.

Outlining the State finances, the Minister said the total expenditure in 2016-17 is estimated to be ₹1,12,191 crore, which is 86 per cent of the Budget estimate.