Bhatti Presents Realistic TS Budget for Rs 2.75 Lakh Cr

Six guarantees get highest funds of Rs 53,196 crore

HYDERABAD: Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who holds the finance portfolio, on Saturday presented a vote-on-account Budget for 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 2,75,891 crore, eschewing the tempetation for going with a jumbo Budget and earmarking 153,196 crore for the Congress’ Six Guarantees.

Bhatti earmarked Rs 2,01,178 crore for revenue expenditure and Rs 29,669 crore for capital expenditure for asset formation. The revenue surplus was pegged at Rs 4,424 crore and fiscal deficit Rs 53,227 crore. The budget has proposed to borrow Rs 59,625.21 crore through open market borrowings (auction of bonds).
The Budget outlay indicates a reduction of over Rs 15,000 crore over last year's BRS government Budget outlay of Rs 2,90,396 crore. Bhatti said this reduction was on account of Congress government's decision to present a realistic budget unlike one with inflated numbers.
The budget, the first under the newly-formed Congress government assuming office in December 2023, allocated Rs 19,746 crore for agriculture and Rs 28,024 crore for irrigation.
Bhatti said it was “a little disheartening” to that the first Budget of the Congress government would be an interim affair, but it had done so because the Centre has introduced vote-on-account on February 1.
“Our government has a clear vision on how to pool resources for our plans and schemes. As part of that vision we have the clarity that we need to tap the maximum funds from the Central government under its various schemes. Only if a full Budget is presented by the central government, we will be able to have a reasonable estimate of the funds that might be transferred to Telangana.”
Bhatti stated that the state's finances were in a dire condition. “Even a prosperous state like ours, has been reduced to a begging bowl, due to the misdeeds of the earlier rulers. Instead of spending on infrastructure development, the (BRS) government frittered it on non-essential activities. The government’s credibility suffered, as it defaulted in clearing the bills."
Stating that the BRS government had made the state bankrupt, Bhatti said: "The burden of unplanned loans is a major challenge. Yet we will stand by the people with planned developmental goals. Our government is planning to cut down wasteful expenditure and by curbing expenditure on unwarranted infrastructural assets.”
Stating that the budget aimed to fulfill the Congress government’s commitment of establishing Indiramma Rajyam, Bhatti proposed a two-pronged development plan.
“Development of weaker sections by spending Budget resources on the Six Guarantees with a rational principle. No family below the poverty line should be left untouched with the resource development of their families and persons. The Six Guarantees invest resources (both by transfer of money and agrarian and other forms of development) with a rational approach to every family that deserves the welfare package.”
At the same time this Budget keeps in mind the vast agrarian sector to boost production, he said.
"We also keep urban development with a planned industrialisation and production. Development in terms of education, health, infrastructure, employment which cover the main demands of the Telangana movement — Neellu, Nidhulu, Niyamakalu. For the last ten years in ten Budgets none of these issues were covered," Bhatti stated.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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