Telangana budget 2018: Etela Rajender presents tax-free, revenue surplus budget

Hyderabad: Telangana finance minister Etela Rajender has presented a tax-free, revenue surplus budget for 2018-19. The total budget size is Rs 1,74,453 crore with revenue expenditure for the current financial year pegged at Rs 1,25,464 crore. State revenue is expected to touch Rs 73,751 crore in the current financial year but huge fiscal deficit of Rs 29,077 crore and rising public debt rings alarm bells. Public debt is set to cross Rs 1.8 lakh crore.
Giving top priority to agriculture, the Finance Minister has allocated Rs 12,000 crore for the โ€˜Rythu Lakshmi’ scheme that seeks to offer financial help of Rs 8,000 per year to each farmer. Rs 4000 per acre per season will be disbursed starting from this May. Budget has proposed a whopping Rs 12,000 crore for agriculture. Mechanization, marketing and cold storages also received a big boost.
Several populist schemes have received higher allocations in the budget. Special funds for several castes are proposed in the budget. They include Rs 100 crore for Brahmins, Rs 10 crore for a Reddy hostel at Budwel, Rs 130 crore for welfare of other communities which did not get allocation in any other head. Rs 75 crore for journalists, Rs 100 crore fund for advocates was also proposed.
In the budget, Rs 1,469 crore has been allocated to purchase of land for the 3-acre land scheme for Dalits. The demand of land for the dalits has been there for long time and ahead of the election, the TRS government has allotted a huge fund for this. Similarly, Rs 1,450 crore was allotted for Kalyana Lakshmi and Shadi Mubarak (financial help for brides) schemes.
The prestigious double bed room house scheme for people below poverty line has been allotted Rs 2,643 crore to build 2.5 lakh houses by the end of this year. Of this, one lakh houses are proposed in Hyderabad city.
To woo minorities, TRS government has decided to pay honorarium of Rs 1500 per month for Imams and Mouzans working in 5000 Mosques. It was also decided to allot 10 acres of land in the city to construct a Hyderabad Islamic Center cum convention hall. In all, Rs 2000 crore was sanctioned for minority welfare in the budget.

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