Andhra Pradesh budget preparation exercise to begin on January 17

Many departments have already raised an issue over non-release of funds though allocations were made in the 2021-22 Budget

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government will begin the preparatory exercise for Budget 2022-23 from Monday.

The Finance Department has scheduled a series of meetings from January 17 to 24 with all departments to discuss the allocations in the ensuing Budget.

The central and the state government flagship programmes, priority schemes, externally aided projects, 15th Finance Commission grants and Child and Gender Budget will form part of the discussions, according to Special Chief Secretary (Finance) Shamsher Singh Rawat.

The schemes currently being implemented would also be reviewed with regard to physical and financial targets achieved, he said in DO letter to the heads of departments.

Many departments have already raised an issue over non-release of funds though allocations were made in the 2021-22 Budget.

Barring education, health and agriculture departments, almost every department of the government has been deprived of funds, throwing their schemes into jeopardy, senior bureaucrats lament.

The expenditure on capital (development) works has become a major concern with paltry releases of only about 29 per cent so far this year, against the targeted Rs 30,571.53 crore.

Water Resources, which the government treats as a priority sector, received less than Rs 2,000 crore out of the allocated Rs 13,237 crore, officials point out.

“Funds crunch is the only response we get from the Finance Department whenever we ask for release of our allotted sum. It has been the same situation for the last two years but as a formality we continue to make Budget projections that are seldom fulfilled,” a top bureaucrat told PTI.

For the financial year 2021-22, the state government presented a budget for Rs 2.29 lakh crore but its revenue accruals in the first eight months have been only 50 per cent of the targeted Rs 1.77 lakh crore, according to official data.

The revenue expenditure, including for the numerous freebie schemes, though crossed 70.70 per cent of the targeted Rs 1.82 lakh crore by the end of November 2021.

The total state expenditure till November was Rs 1.38 lakh crore against the budgeted Rs 2.13 lakh crore, three per cent less than the corresponding period last year.

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