Hyderabad: The Telangana government today proposed a Rs 1,74,453.84 crore budget for 2018-19 with major focus on agriculture as it unveiled a Rs 8,000 per acre investment support scheme and a Rs 5 lakh insurance cover for farmers. Irrigation and welfare are the other thrust areas of the budget. “The estimated total expenditure in 2018-19 is Rs 1,74,453.84 crore. Of this, revenue expenditure is Rs 1,25,454.70 crore and capital expenditure is Rs 33,369.10 crore,” state Finance Minister E Rajender said in his budget speech.
The state revenue is expected to touch Rs 73,751 crore in the current financial year, he said. Agriculture got substantial allocations in the budget. The budget proposed an amount of Rs 12,000 crore for the Investment Support Scheme to help farmers. An investment support of Rs 4,000 per acre per crop for two crops would be provided to farmers from 2018-19 onwards under the scheme.
The minister said farmers would be covered with a life insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh under a new Farmer Group Insurance Scheme. An amount of Rs 500 crore is proposed in the budget for the scheme. The budget allocated Rs 522 crore for promotion of farm mechanisation, Rs 127 crore for promotion of micro-irrigation, Rs 120 crore towards polyhouse and greenhouse cultivation.
An amount of Rs 15,788 crore has been proposed for agriculture and marketing sectors. In a reflection of the priority given to irrigation in the budget, an amount of Rs 25,000 crore has been allocated to the sector. Welfare of various sections, including SCs, STs, backward classes, senior citizens has also got major allocations in the budget.
The government is spending Rs 5,300 crore per year on social security pensions to the aged, widows, toddy tappers, and weavers, among others (41,78,291 persons). The budget proposed an amount of Rs 1,450 crore towards ‘Kalyana Lakshmi’ and ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ schemes (financial assistance to women for marriage).
The government allocated Rs 16,453 crore to SC Special Development Fund (SDF) and Rs 9,693 crore to ST SDF in 2018-19. For the Scheduled Caste Development department, an amount of Rs 12,709 crore has been proposed. For Tribal Welfare department, an amount of Rs 8,063 crore has been proposed in the budget.
For welfare of backward classes, Rs 5,920 crore has been provided and Rs 2,000 crore proposed for welfare of minorities. An amount of Rs 7,375 crore has been allocated to the medical and health sector.
For construction of double bedroom houses for poor, a major election promise of the ruling TRS, Rs 2,643 crore has been allocated. Funds to the scheme are also provided through off-budget borrowings. The budget proposed Rs 15,563 crore for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development department and Rs 5,575 crore for Roads and Buildings. Municipal Administration got Rs 7,251 crore and power sector has been given Rs 5,650 crore while Rs 10,830 crore has been allocated for School Education.
During the current year 2017-18, the economy of Telangana is estimated to grow at 10.4 per cent in real terms as compared with the national GDP growth of 6.6 per cent, the Finance Minister said. Growth in manufacturing and agriculture sectors is promising, he said. Advance estimates put the growth of manufacturing sector at 7.6 per cent in 2017-18. The growth of agriculture and allied sectors is estimated to reach 6.9 per cent in 2017-18, the minister said.
“Overall, GSDP at current prices which was Rs 6,41,985 crore last year (2016-17) is estimated to increase to Rs 7,32,657 crore in 2017-18, recording a growth of 14.1 per cent,” he said. The per capita income of the state at current prices is estimated to increase by 13.4 per cent to Rs 1,75,534 in 2017-18 from Rs 1,54,734 in 2016-17.
“This is significantly higher than the national growth of 8.6 per cent,” he said. As per the Revised Estimates, the total expenditure in 2017-18 is estimated at Rs 1,42,506 crore. Of this, revenue expenditure is Rs 1,06,603 crore, while capital expenditure is Rs 25,447 crore, he said. Lauding the budget, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said it is very balanced in making allocations to various sectors.