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Telangana’s Rs 1 lakh crore budget proved a damp squib: Shabbir Ali

Hyderabad, Feb 23 (INN): With the next budget session of Telangana State Legislature being just 12 days away, the TRS Government is very far from even getting closer to the budget of Rs 100,637 Crore allocated for the year 2014-15.

Addressing a press conference at the Gandhi Bhavan here on Monday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Vice-President and MLC Mohammed Ali Shabbir informed that the State Government has so far released only Rs 29,357 Crore or just 29.17% of Rs 100,637 crore budget, which was presented on November 5, 2014, by Finance Minister Etala Rajender. He said non-spending has proved the Telangana’s first ever budget a damp squib. While Rs 13,354 Cr (25.69%) out of Rs 51,989 Cr under Non-Plan were released, the State Government had spent only Rs 16,003 Cr (32.90%) out of Rs 48,648 Cr under Plan Expenditure. An amount of Rs 71,280 crore is yet to be released by the government while it is left with just 36 days for the end of financial year 2014-15 and the budget for 2015-16 is scheduled to be presented on March 11.

The Congress leader said that these figures were taken from the official website of Telangana’s Finance Department “https://fdp.cgg.gov.in/tgfdp” and therefore, their authenticity could not be suspected. These figures are pertaining to 1530 Budget Release Orders (BROs) issued for 146 different Heads of Departments (HoDs) so far (till February 22).

Shabbir Ali said that the spending on Welfare, the portfolios handled by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao himself, has been too poor. Of Rs 15,191 Crore allocated for SC, ST, BC and Minorities’ Welfare, only Rs 2,873 crore or 18.91% have been released. As against the allocation of Rs 7,579 for Scheduled Caste Welfare, the government released just Rs 1,142 Cr (15.07%); Rs 790 Cr ore or 17.33% out of Rs 4,559 Cr for Tribal Welfare; Rs 708 Cr or 35.01% out of Rs 2,022 Cr for BC Welfare and a mere Rs 233 Cr or 22.62% out of Rs 1,030 Crore allocated for Minorities Welfare.

Similarly, only 25.60% of allocations for Medical & Health, 25.01% on Education and 53.31% for Women’s Welfare have been released. Interestingly, the Congress leader said that of Rs 2,000 Cr allocated for Mission Kakatiya, the government released Rs 1,315 crore or 65.75% while Rs 5,523 Cr or 50.71% of Rs 10,889.76 crore allocated for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development have been released. “These departments were given preference as they are handled by KCR’s close relatives. While KCR’s son K Tarakarama Rao is the Panchayat Raj Minister, his son-in-law T Harish Rao is the Irrigation Minister,” he said while alleging that the entire government and finances are revolving around KCR’s family.

Shabbir Ali said that the non-release of over 70% of allocated budget vindicates the stand taken by the Congress party when it described the Rs 1 lakh crore budget as unrealistic. However, the Congress supported the government on KCR’s insistence that the new government would spend the entire amount. Now, the Congress party’s fears have come true, he said.

Shabbir Ali demanded that the Chief Minister and Finance Minister give an assurance that the entire unspent amount on Welfare is carried forward and added in the next budget. He recalled that when he raised the issue of unspent amount on Minorities Welfare during the last budget session, the Chief Minister himself assured to issue necessary directions to carry forwards those amounts for next year.

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