Centre considered AP's pleas in Union Budget, says state finance minister
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Vijayawada: Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath has said the Centre has favourably considered the pleas of the state government in the pre-Budget meetings and included them in the 2023 Union Budget.
The minister said that AP suggested a policy for the implementation of a pumped storage system and this was done. Another of AP’s requests was to increase the funds for the PM Awas Yojana, to which too, the Centre has responded positively.
Addressing the media here on Wednesday, Rajendranath said it was a matter of pride that the Urban Infra Development Fund would be initiated across the country by considering AP's proposal. This would benefit every state, he said.
The minister said AP, which accounted for 40 per cent of the fish and shrimp production and 60 per cent of shrimp production in the country, had urged the Centre to reduce the import duty on the feed. The Centre has responded positively to the four points proposed by AP and included them in the Budget, he said.
Citing other positives of the Union Budget, he said the funds for the PM Awas Yojana was raised by 66 per cent and the Budget also laid a big emphasis on the construction of new railways by allocating Rs 10 lakh crore under capital investment head. The Budget promised to set up 157 new nursing colleges across the country, as also national digital libraries especially for the youths and school students. There were also plans for new airports and ports across the country.
Matters like construction of helipads, the setting up of a fund for learning new methods of agriculture, a nature-oriented agriculture policy, establishment of international skill training centres as also the plans relating to Ekalavya schools, ITDA and aquaculture would benefit Andhra Pradesh.
He said that with the establishment of skill centres, one per constituency, employment opportunities will improve and this would benefit 50,000 youths of AP.
The Union Budget outlay, which was Rs 41.87 lakh crore last year has been raised by Rs 3 lakh crore, taking its size to Rs 45 lakh crore. The Capital Expenditure has increased from Rs 7.28 lakh crore last year to Rs 10 lakh crore this year, which means an increase of Rs 2.5 lakh crore by way of capital expenditure, the minister said.
The reduction of the fiscal deficit from 6.4 per cent to 5.9 per cent in two years after the Covid phase was a good development, he stressed.
Rajendranath said the expected tax revenue was Rs 33.60 lakh crore the coming fiscal while it was Rs 30.43 lakh crore in 2022-23. In this, Andhra Pradesh's share was Rs 9.15 lakh crore for the fiscal 2022-23 and it was estimated to be Rs 10 lakh crore in 2023-24 fiscal.
He said the nation’s debt last year was Rs 17.58 lakh crore and this year it was Rs 17.98 lakh crore, which meant an increase of approximately Rs 50,000 crore. The revenue for the country was Rs 41.90 lakh crore last fiscal and this time it was expected to rise to Rs 45 lakh crore.
The AP finance minister noted that the budgetary allocations for fertiliser, urea, rice and wheat subsidies have been reduced. While allocations for agriculture have been reduced, allocations for roads and railways as also for education and electricity have been increased.
Rajendranath said that the Central Budget 2023-24 has been designed with the theme of "giving priority to 7 important sectors" under the name of 'Saptarushulu' for the development of every segment of the society, he noted.