Telangana not so ‘cash-rich’, income via taxes dips

No funds were allocated for the sops in the 2015-16 Budget
Hyderabad: The state government which claims it is the only cash-rich state in the country after Gujarat, has been facing financial problems right from the beginning of the financial year. Two months into the FY 2015-16, the income earned through taxes has been witnessing a decline. This is making it difficult for the government to spend on the various programmes listed out in the Budget.
The new sops announced by the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to mark the state Formation Day has put further pressure on the finances. No funds were allocated for the sops in the 2015-16 Budget and the finance department is being forced to explore options to mobilise funds.
Against this backdrop, finance minister Etela Rajender on Wednesday told an emergency meeting of officials of revenue-earning departments about the financial condition and the need to take measures to overcome the crisis.
Officials estimate that of the announcements made by the Chief Minister, the 2-BHK scheme will cost Rs 2,500 crore, Rs 90 crore for salaries for 25,000 new employees and Rs 9 crore a month to pay contract staff after regularisation.
The expenditure on enhanced Aasara social security pensions and food security cards, has increased manifold due to the sharp increase in the number of beneficiaries.
This is apart from the flagship programmes which include the Water Grid, Mission Kakatiya, development of Hyderabad as a global city, laying of new roads in all districts and the Haritha Haaram greenery project. Mr Rajender expressed confidence that the situation would improve in the coming months. “We should realise that there are 10 more months to go. We can certainly improve with effective tax collection. It would not be proper to judge the entire year just by taking the performance of first two months,” he said.
He added, “In quantitative terms, the arrears may look huge, but in some departments we have achieved tax collection target of 85 per cent to 90 per cent, which is satisfactory. We are trying to achieve 100 per cent from next month.” In the meeting, it was felt that the laxity of officials and staff in revenue earning departments has led to the fall in earnings. “The staff is under the impression that only two months have passed and they have ample time to set things right. But that is not right. If the laxity continues, the arrears would pile up with each passing month and build pressure on the department to collect the huge arrears in a short span. Targets cannot be met with this kind of approach,” said an official.
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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