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Telangana Budget: Harish Rao presents tax-free budget of Rs.2.9 lakh crore

Hyderabad: Finance Minister T Harish Rao has presented a tax-free budget of Rs 2,90,396 crore for 2023-24 in the State Legislative Assembly here on Monday. Of this, the total revenue expenditure is pegged at Rs 2,11,685 crore and the capital expenditure at Rs 37,525 crore. This is around Rs 34,000 crore more than the previous budget of Rs. 2.56 lakh crore for 2022-23.

The State government gave priority to infrastructure development and public welfare in the latest budget. A total of Rs 2,500 crore were allotted to maintenance of Roads and Buildings roads and Rs 2,000 crore for maintenance of Panchayat Raj roads. Around Rs 1,000 crore have been set aside towards new recruitments in different government departments.

For the State government’s flagship programme of Dalit Bandhu, Harish Rao sanctioned Rs 12,980 crore to ensure benefit for 1,100 beneficiaries per each of the 118 constituencies in the State this year. Around Rs 7,890 crore have been allocated for construction of double bedroom houses for the benefit of 2,000 eligible persons per each of 119 constituencies in the State. Another 25,000 houses will be allotted at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

Further, the Finance Minister stated that for effective implementation of Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi schemes in the State, the State government will release the State’s matching share along with the Finance Commission grants directly to the bank accounts of the local bodies. A total of Rs 3,360 crore for Palle Pragathi and another Rs 1,474 crore for Pattan Pragathi, have been sanctioned.

Continuing to extend highest priority to agriculture and allied sectors, the State government will spend around Rs 26,831 crore for the Agriculture department, Rs 2,071 crore for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries department. Harish Rao has set aside Rs 15,075 lakh crore for Rythu Bandhu, Rs 1,589 crore towards Rythu Bima insurance and increased the farm loan waiver scheme amount from Rs 4,000 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 6,385 crore in 2023-24.

A total Rs 26,885 crore were sanctioned to the Irrigation department. While the Finance department was allocated Rs 49,749 crore towards salaries, pensions and other expenditure at its disposal, the highest allocation of Rs 31,426 crore will be for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development departments.

While presenting the State budget, Harish Rao accused the Centre for discrimination against Telangana and creating hurdles in the path of the State’s progress. He said the Centre has imposed a cut of Rs 15,033 crore on the State and acted against the federal spirit of the nation. He pointed out that the promises made under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act have remained unfulfilled. About Rs 1,350 crore towards backward districts development fund, were due from the Centre.

He said despite restrictions and discrimination by the Centre, Telangana has not compromised on the development and welfare programmes of the people. Notwithstanding the disruptive forces trying to disturb communal and social harmony, he said Telangana is continuing its growth trajectory by maintaining its ‘Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb’.

“Telangana will forge ahead and play an important role in nation building in the years to come. Let us continue to work together without any rest for the upliftment of dalits, tribals, minorities, backward and weaker sections and poor people among the upper castes. In this noble and uncompromising task, I humbly request all the people of Telangana to extend their full support and cooperation,” he concluded.