Telangana presents a jumbo budget of Rs 2.56 lakh crore for 2022-23

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 Finance Minister T Harish Rao presented the State Budget for 2022-23 in the State Legislative Assembly on Monday with an outlay of Rs 2,56,958 crore, recording over 20 per cent increase over last year’s revised outlay of Rs 2.09 lakh crore. While the revenue expenditure stood at Rs 1,89,274 crore, capital expenditure is estimated at Rs 29,728 crore. The budget also indicates a healthy growth in State’s Own Tax Revenue (SOTR) – from Rs 92,910 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 1.08 lakh crore, again a jump of over 16 per cent.

The budget for 2021-22 also has been revised from Rs 2,30,725 crore to Rs 2,09,982 crore, following reduced allocations from the Centre as well as Covid-induced economic impact.

As per the Advance Estimates, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has been pegged at Rs 11,54,860 crore for 2021-22 with a growth rate of 11.2 per cent at constant prices against GDP (national) growth rate of 8.9 per cent. While the Agriculture sector contributed over 20 per cent to GSDP, the Secondary sector comprising manufacturing and construction sectors recorded a growth rate of 21.5 per cent. The services sector registered a growth rate of 18.3 per cent. The Per Capita Income of Telangana increased to Rs 2,78,833 in 2021-22 with an 18.8 per cent growth rate exceeded the national average of Rs 1,49,848, which has 18.1 per cent growth.

“The State’s GSDP growth has consistently been higher than the national GDP growth since 2015-16 and the gap has been widening. With a sterling performance, the contribution of Telangana to the country’s GDP improved from 4.06 per cent in 2014-15 to 4.97 per cent in 2021-22, making it the only State in the country whose contribution in the national economy has grown by almost 1 per cent,” the Finance Minister said.

In his two-hour budget speech, Harish Rao tore into the Centre for its discrimination towards Telangana in allocation of funds, projects and other support. While Telangana suffered at the hands of the then rulers in undivided Andhra Pradesh, it was suffering similar discrimination by the Centre. “The Centre is creating hurdles in the path of progress of the State. Instead of incentivising the States which are progressing, the Centre is trying to actively discourage them,” he slammed.

The Minister stated that the discrimination against Telangana started right from the day of the formation of the State, with the merger of seven mandals of Khammam District in Andhra Pradesh. The State also lost the lower Sileru hydroelectric project. Even the division of the High Court was dragged on for a period of five years. “The promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act are also not yet fulfilled. As if this was not enough, whenever there is a discussion on the formation of the State of Telangana, it is commented that it is like – “killing the mother for saving the baby”. These comments made by the elders at the Centre are an insult to the people of Telangana,” he added.

He criticised the Centre for not finalising the water share of Telangana in Krishna River on the one hand and stalling clearances to projects on the other. He stated that even in the latest union budget, no justice was done to Telangana. Even the borrowing was made conditional. During the financial crisis due to Corona, the Centre has not provided any financial assistance. “The enhanced borrowing under FRBM was linked to reforms in the power sector. Telangana will be deprived of a total Rs 25,000 crores over the next five years. The State government is not interested in making the farmers pay for the power which is being provided to them at free of cost,” he asserted.

Legislative Affairs Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy presented the budget for 2022-23 in the Legislative Council.

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