KCR govt hopes its long wishlist will be met in Budget
Deccan Chronicle.| L. Venkat Ram Reddy
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (Twitter/@TelanganaCMO)
Hyderabad: The Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS government is keeping its fingers crossed over the allocations to be made to Telangana in the Union Budget 2023-24, hoping that the long wishlist it submitted during the pre-Budget meetings held by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be met.
The Union Budget is being closely watched in both the BRS and political circles given the ongoing face-off between the BRS and the BJP and the CM’s efforts to forge an anti-BJP alliance in order to defeat the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao criticised the Centre over the Union Budget last year, alleging discrimination against Telangana, ministers K.T. Rama Rao, T. Harish Rao, and Errabelli Dayakar Rao wrote several letters to the Centre in the last two months demanding funds for various projects and schemes.
The major demands include fulfillment of promises made to Telangana in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, industrial incentives, national project status for either Kaleshwaram or Palamuru Rangareddy lift irrigation scheme and increase in seats in Legislative Assembly from 119 to 153 by way of delimitation.
The BRS government has been also been demanding setting up of a railway coach factory in Kazipet, the Bayyaram steel plant in Mahbubabad, tribal university in Mulugu district, Navodaya and Sainik schools in every district, clearing `900 crore arrears pertaining to Central grants for the development of backward regions, among others.
The BRS government also demanded that the Centre abolish GST on handlooms, pay Rs 7,778 crore towards central government's share for urban infrastructure projects being undertaken by the municipal administration department, increase reservations for SCs, STs and BCs in proportion to their ratio of population, reduction of petrol, diesel, and LPG prices.
Among the state government's other major demands are the lifting of restrictions on the MGNREGA programme, linking MNREGA with agriculture, providing Mission Bhagiratha with a Central grant of Rs 19,205 crore, Mission Kakatiya with a grant of Rs 5,000 crore, and providing various irrigation projects with a grant of Rs 817 crore as recommended by Niti Aayog as well as Central grants recommended by the 15th Finance Commission such as Rs 723 crore special grant, Rs 6,268 crore under State-specific and Centre-specific grants.
The state government also sought a bulk drugs park in Hyderabad, sanction for Software Technology Park of India (STPI), Rs 800 crore towards Centre's share for development of roads and corridors, link roads in Hyderabad and city outskirts, Rs 450 crore for the Mass Rapid Transit System in KPHB-Kokapet-Narsingi corridor.