More than half of Telangana Budget unspent, govt informs Assembly
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
Etela Rajender expressed confidence that budgetary targets would be met by expediting spending in the last quarter.
The state government has been unable to spend even half of the total Rs 1.29 lakh-crore earmarked in Budget 2016-17.
Hyderabad: The state government has been unable to spend even half of the total Rs 1.29 lakh-crore earmarked in Budget 2016-17, though just three months are left for current financial year to end. The TS government informed the Legislative Assembly on Monday that it could spend only Rs 51,615 crore till September-end. Despite this, finance minister Etela Rajender expressed confidence that budgetary targets would be met by expediting spending in the last quarter.
Though the spending data for October and November is yet to be assessed, there are estimates that it could be around Rs 10,000 crore since the revenues have dipped since November due to demonetisation. The government had earmarked Rs 72,195 crore under Plan and Rs 61,622 crore under Non-Plan expenditure. However, only Rs 22,756 crore in Plan and Rs 28,858 crore Non-Plan expenditure was recorded. Mr Rajender said the state’s revenue collection has increased by 13 per cent over last year. "The sales tax collection has increased by 22 per cent, transport tax by 33 per cent and stamps & registrations revenue by 45 per cent, resulting in overall increase of 13 per cent," he said.
The total receipts of the government till September-end including Central grants, loans, market borrowings and tax devolution were Rs 47,027 crore. Mr Rajender said that impact of demonetisation and GST was yet to be assessed. He added that the GST impact can be assessed only after revenue neutral rate is finalised but hoped that the Telangana would not suffer any losses as it is a consuming state unlike a few other states which are manufacturing states, which would attract huge taxes in GST regime.
However, Opposition Congress and MIM MLAs staged a walkout from the House to protest the failure of the government in releasing funds for welfare schemes despite allocation in the Budget. MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said, "The funds for fee reimbursement, scholarships for students, Kalyan Lakshmi, Shadi Mubarak schemes have been stopped. No financial assistance is provided to the unemployed under subsidy loan schemes." "Students have been waiting for fee reimbursement arrears for the last two years. This year, not a single rupee has been released so far. Poor students are facing severe hardships in pursuing studies," Mr Owaisi said.