Telangana announces welfare-oriented, tax-free budget for 2017-18

The government has allocated Rs.25,000 crore towards irrigation facilities in the state.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Telangana on Sunday presented a tax-free and welfare-oriented 2017-18 budget, focusing on improving irrigation and revitalising traditional occupations of the state’s backwards classes, with a proposed expenditure of about Rs.1.50 lakh crore.

“An amount of Rs.1,49,646 crore is proposed as total expenditure consisting of an estimated committed expenditure of Rs.61,607.20 crore and an expenditure of Rs.88,038.80 crore under ‘expenditure on schemes’,” Telangana’s Finance Minister E Rajender said in his Budget speech.

This year’s budget was in line with the Central Government’s decision to abandon the classification of expenditure into plan and non-plan and continue with “the Constitutional mandate of classifying expenditure into revenue and capital”.

The budget has also envisaged enhancing irrigation facilities of one crore acres in the state with a total allocation of Rs.25,000 crore for the year 2017-18.

For the TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) flagship programme, Mission Bhagiratha launched to provide drinking water to every household in Telangana, the state government has allocated Rs.3,000 crore. “In order to reduce the burden on the State Budget, extra-budgetary resources are being mobilised to fund the mission,” Rajender said.

The budget stressed on boosting rural economy, including reviving traditional occupations of backwards classes. Rajender said the government would introduce a major scheme for development of sheep-rearing and also take steps to promote fisheries.

This year’s budget also allocated Rs.1,200 crore for the state’s weavers; Rs.1,000 crore for welfare of the Most Backward Classes; Rs.5,070.36 crore for welfare of backwards classes; Rs.500 crore for the community of welfare of washermen and barbers; and Rs.1731.50 crore for welfare of women and child development.

The Telangana government has allocated a total of Rs.14,375.12 crore towards the welfare of SCs under different schemes. For the welfare of STs, the total allocated amount is Rs.8,165.88 crore and for the welfare of minorities, it is Rs.1,249.66 crore. The ‘Aasara’ social security pensions’ have been given Rs.5,330 crore. It has allocated Rs.1,939.93 crore for reimbursements of students’ tuition fees.

The state budget also proposed a provision of Rs.4,000 crore for the fourth and final instalment of farm loan waiver scheme of the TRS government. The government has fixed the target for credit disbursal by banks to the farm sector at Rs 46,946.98 crore in 2017-18 in the agriculture sector.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 14, 2017 12:00 IST