In Andhra Pradesh’s budget of Rs 2.24 lakh cr, a revenue deficit of Rs 18K cr

The budget was scheduled to be presented in the last week of March but was delayed because of the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath offers prayers before presenting state budget 2020 - 21, in Amaravati on Tuesday.(ANI)
Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath offers prayers before presenting state budget 2020 - 21, in Amaravati on Tuesday.(ANI)
Updated on Jun 16, 2020 10:32 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | BySrinivasa Rao Apparasu

Andhra Pradesh finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy on Tuesday presented the budget for 2020-21 in the state assembly with an outlay of Rs 2.24 lakh crore and a revenue deficit of Rs 18,434 crore.

The budget was scheduled to be presented in the last week of March but was delayed because of the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19.

As a result, the state government had to promulgate an ordinance on March 30 to draw around Rs 70,000 crore from the state consolidated fund for the first three months of the financial year commencing on April 1.

As the two-day budget session of the state assembly commenced on Tuesday, the finance minister presented the full-fledged budget for the 2020-21 fiscal, which included the amount drawn for the first three months.

Out of the total budget outlay of Rs. 2,24,789 crore, Reddy projected revenue expenditure of around Rs. 1,80,393 crore and capital expenditure, including loan repayments and other capital disbursements of around Rs 44,396 crore.

He said the budget estimates entail an overall decrease of 1.4% over the 2019-20 budget estimates because of major economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the revenue deficit was estimated at around Rs 18,434 crore, the fiscal deficit was projected at around Rs 48,295 crore. The fiscal deficit will be around 4.78% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), whereas the revenue deficit will be around 1.82 % of the GSDP.

The finance minister said in 2019, the new government (of YSR Congress party) had inherited an economy which had been slowing down. “The tsunami of pending bills to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore left by the previous government only made matters worse. The decline in transfer of central taxes in 2019-20 and 2020-21, the reduced share in the divisible pool for the year 2020-21 and the precipitous decline of revenue realisation on account of Covid-19 induced lockdown measures, further added to the financial stress,” he said.

Reddy, however, said the government had been overcoming challenges and going ahead in the path of development and welfare. “We rolled out a new template for pro-people governance through village and ward secretariats and appointment of over 1.2 lakh village/ward secretaries and more than 2.5 lakh volunteers. “Through these secretariats, people can avail 536 services at their doorsteps cutting across multiple government agencies,” he said.

The finance minister made considerable allocations to the key departments as part of implementing the welfare agenda of the state government through implementation of Nava Ratnalu (nine jewels) – a set of nine promises made in the election manifesto.

He announced allocation of Rs 22,604 crore for secondary and intermediate education and Rs 2,277 crore for higher education. “We have brought in a renewed emphasis on human resources development through schemes like Amma Vodi, Jagananna Vidya Deewana and Jagananna Vasati Deewana, while upgrading public school infrastructure through Mana Badi Nadu-Nedu programme,” he said.

For health sector, Reddy said an allocation of Rs 11,419 crore was made, primary to extend affordable health care to the poor under Dr YSR Aarogyasri scheme, apart from expanding the fleet of ambulance services by adding another 1,000 vehicles to the existing 439.

The minister announced allocation of Rs 11,891 crore for the agriculture sector, including Rs 3,615 crore for the implementation of Dr YSR Rythu Bharosa-PM Kisan scheme under which an investment support of Rs 13,500 per year is provided to each of 46.51 lakh eligible farmers to meet the input needs.

He also announced implementation of free crop insurance scheme and interest free loans and setting up Rythu Bharosa centres. “Besides, the government has taken a historic decision to set up a Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) of Rs 3,000 crore for market intervention for crops selling below MSP or for non-MSP crops selling below normal price,” he said.

The other major allocations made in the budget were: Rs 16,710 crore for panchayat raj and rural development, Rs 11,806 crore for water resources development, Rs 6,588 crore for transport, roads and buildings, Rs 6,984.73 crore for energy and Rs 2,075.56 crore for industrial development.

Similarly, an amount of Rs 1,279 crore was allocated for animal husbandry and fisheries, Rs 8,000 crore for provision of 30 lakh house sites for the houseless poor, Rs 3,456 crore for women, child and disabled welfare, Rs 1,365 crore towards zero-interest loans to women self-help groups, Rs 16,000 crore for pensions and Rs 3,000 crore towards YSR Cheyutha scheme to provide financial assistance of Rs 18,750 crore for SC, ST, OBC and minority women.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021