Telangana [India], February 10 (ANI): Telangana's Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister, Bhatti Vikramarka, presented the inaugural budget of the newly formed Congress government in the Telangana Assembly, outlining a plan to address the state's economic challenges and prioritize public welfare.
The budget, presented against the backdrop of an economic situation, reflects the government's commitment to fiscal discipline and planning to propel the state towards prosperity.
In his address to the assembly, Minister Vikramarka minced no words in highlighting the grim economic realities inherited by the new government.
He emphasized that despite being a prosperous state, Telangana had been reduced to a state of financial distress due to mismanagement by previous administrations.
Vikramarka undeRs cored the need to dispense with wasteful expenditure and prioritize fiscal prudence to restore the state's financial health.
The Finance Minister called attention to discrepancies in previous budgets, pointing out inflated allocations that were never realized in actual expenditure.
He cited examples where substantial sums allocated for various welfare schemes remained unspent, casting doubt on the credibility of past financial planning.
Vikramarka reiterated the government's commitment to realistic budgeting, ensuring that allocations align with actual expenditure requirements.
Providing an overview of Telangana's economic performance, Minister Vikramarka highlighted both achievements and challenges.
While the state's Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) witnessed an increase, economic growth rates exhibited a downward trend, reflecting broader challenges facing the economy.
Minister Vikramarka said, " I am proposing an amount Rs 2,543 crores, for the industries department in this budget, Rs 774 crores, in this budget for information technology, Rs 40,080 crores, for panchayat raj and rural development, Rs 11,692 crores, for the municipal administration, Rs 19,746 crores for agriculture, for sc welfare Rs 21,874 crore, is proposed, for st welfare Rs 13,313 crore, is proposed in this budget, for minorities welfare Rs 2,262 crore, for the construction of buildings for the bc residential schools, we are proposing Rs 1,546 crore, in this budget".
He added, "We are proposing Rs 8,000 crore, for BC welfare. the government will strengthen the scheme of providing nutritious food to the pregnant and lactating women through 35,781 anganwadis in the state, for education, Rs 21,389 crores, is proposed. i propose Rs 11,500 crores, for medical and health sector in this budget, for transco and discoms, Rs 16,825 crores, is proposed in this budget. i propose Rs 28,024 crores, for irrigation in this budget".
He noted that despite outperforming the national GDP growth rate, Telangana faced inflationary pressures, particularly evident in higher Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures compared to the national average.
The Finance Minister delved into sector-specific performances, acknowledging the downturn in agriculture due to adverse climatic conditions.
However, he highlighted the manufacturing sector's resilience, which experienced significant growth.
Vikramarka also emphasized the government's commitment to bolstering industrial progress, citing successful engagements with multinational companies to attract investments worth Rs 40,000 crores to the state.
In line with the government's welfare agenda, Minister Vikramarka outlined key initiatives aimed at improving public services and promoting inclusive development.
He detailed plans to enhance healthcare services, provide housing assistance, strengthen rural infrastructure, and support marginalized communities through targeted welfare schemes.
The budget allocates substantial funds for sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, and rural development, reflecting the government's prioritization of people-centric policies.
Vikramarka said, "I would like to present the Budget for the year 2024-25 to this House. 2022-23 Accounts 120. As per the accounts of 2022-23, Expenditure is Rs 2,04,523 crore, Revenue Surplus is Rs 5,944 crore, Fiscal deficit is Rs 32,557 crore. 2023-24 Revised Estimates 121. Estimated total expenditure is Rs 2,24,625 crore, out of which Revenue expenditure is Rs 1,69,141 crore, Capital expenditure is Rs 24,178 crore, Revenue surplus is Rs 9,031 crore, and fiscal deficit is Rs 33,786 crore".
He added, "Vote on Account Budget Estimates for 2024-25 122. I propose, 2024-25 financial years ' total expenditure is Rs 2,75,891 crore, Revenue expenditure is Rs 2,01,178 crore, Capital expenditure is Rs 29,669 crore. I commend the vote on account budget for 2024-25 for the approval of this Honorable House".
The Finance Minister concluded his address by presenting the budget estimates for the fiscal year 2024-25, emphasizing prudent financial management and transparent governance.
He unders cored the government's resolve to fulfill its promises to the people and address longstanding challenges facing the state.
Minister Vikramarka's budget speech set the tone for the Congress government's agenda, signaling a commitment to responsible governance and inclusive growth.
Since the budget is being presented in the Telangana Assembly today, BRS Chief, Leader of the Opposition, and Former Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao was not present.
Since taking an oath as an MLA, KCR has not appeared in the Assembly. This is the Telangana Congress government's first budget proposal. (ANI)