The Telangana government March 13 presented a welfare-oriented, tax-free budget, focusing on irrigation and reviving traditional occupations of the backward classes, for 2017-18 with a proposed expenditure of nearly ₹1.50 lakh crore.

 

"An amount of ₹1,49,646 crore is proposed as total expenditure consisting of an estimated committed expenditure of ₹61,607.20 crore and an expenditure of ₹ 88,038.80 crores under 'expenditure on schemes'," state Finance Minister E Rajender said in his Budget speech.

 

The revenue-surplus budget was in tune with the Centre's decision to do away with the classification of expenditure into plan and non-plan and stuck "only to the Constitutional mandate of classifying expenditure into revenue and capital".

 

Towards the TRS government's goal of creating the irrigation potential of one crore acres, the budget proposed to allocate ₹25,000 crore in 2017-18 for irrigation.

 

For the TRS government's flagship 'Mission Bhagiratha' scheme to provide piped drinking water to every household in the state, it allocated an amount of ₹ 3,000 crores.

 

In order to "reduce the burden on the State Budget", extra-budgetary resources are being mobilised to fund the mission, Rajender said.

 

The budget stressed on boosting rural economy, including reviving traditional occupations of backward classes.

 

Rajender said the government would introduce a major scheme for development of sheep-rearing and also take steps to promote fisheries.

 

An amount of Rs 500 crore has been proposed for the welfare of washermen and 'Nayi Brahmins' (the community of barbers). An amount of ₹1,200 crore has been mooted for the assistance of weavers.

 

The Corporation set up for the welfare of Most Backward Classes would get ₹ 1,000 crores. The total amount proposed in the budget for the welfare of backward classes was Rs 5,070.36 crore. The welfare of women and child development has got ₹1,731.50 crore in the budget.

 

The total amount proposed under different schemes for the welfare of SCs is ₹14,375.12 crore. The provision for the welfare of STs is ₹8,165.88 crore. The amount for the welfare of minorities is ₹1,249.66 crore.

 

The 'Aasara' social security pensions' provision was ₹5,330 crore. The budget allocated ₹1,939.93 crore towards students' tuition fees reimbursement.

 

The budget proposed a provision of ₹4,000 crore towards the fourth and final instalment of farm loan waiver scheme of the TRS government.

 

In the agriculture sector, the target for credit disbursal by banks to the farm sector has been fixed at ₹46,946.98 crore in 2017-18. (More) PTI SJR RS NRB

 

The provision for agriculture and cooperation, excluding the allied sectors, is proposed at ₹5,942.97 crore.

 

Medical and health, and education sectors got a substantial ₹5,976.17 crore and ₹12,705.72 crore, respectively.

 

The total provision proposed for Panchayat Raj was ₹14,723.42 crore. Road sector got ₹5,033.64 crore.

 

Highlighting that safety and security of people is given top priority, the budget proposed ₹4,828.18 crore for the Home department.

 

The energy sector has been given ₹4,203.21 crore.

 

Observing that a number of programmes are being implemented by raising resources through extra-budgetary resources, Rajender said the budget provisions should not be seen in isolation but one also has to take into account the amount spent by state-run Corporations through their own resources.

 

In the Budget estimates for 2017-18, state's own revenue receipts are proposed at ₹69,220.37 crore as compared with ₹58,636 crore in Revised Estimates 2016-17.

 

Transfer of funds from the Centre are proposed at ₹43,862.67 crore as compared with ₹28,433.78 crore in Revised Estimates 2016-17.

 

Noting that expenditure proposed under the 'expenditure on schemes' is higher than that under Committed Expenditure, Rajender said it has become possible because of rationalisation of expenditure and efforts to mobilise additional resources.

 

It is expected that there will be an increase in the net borrowing limits in 2017-18 under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, he said.

 

The Budget Estimates for 2017-18 indicate a revenue surplus of ₹4,571.30 crore and a fiscal deficit of ₹26,096.31 crore, which is 3.48 percent of the estimated Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

 

Saying that there has been an "upward shift" in growth trajectory of the state year on year since its formation in June, 2014, the minister said the GSDP growth at constant prices in 2016-17, as per latest estimates, is likely to be in double digits at 10.1 percent as compared with the expected national GDP growth of 7.1 percent.

 

"Growth of GSDP at constant (2011-12) prices improved from 5.6 percent in 2013-14 to 8.7 percent in 2014-15 and further to 9.5 percent in the year 2015-16.

 

"As per latest estimates, GSDP growth at constant prices in 2016-17 is likely to be in double digits at 10.1 percent as compared with the expected national GDP growth of 7.1 percent," Rajender said.