Loan waiver features big in Telangana budget

Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender on Wednesday presented the state’s first full-year budget, pegging the outlay at Rs 1,15,689 crore with an Rs 531 crore surplus.

The non-planned expenditure was slated at Rs 63,350 crore, while planned expenditure was Rs 52,283 crore.

In keeping with its commitment to waive farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh per farmer, the TRS government has earmarked Rs 4,250 crore for phase 2 of its implementation in 2015-16. Last year it released a similar sum in phase 1 of the waiver scheme, with the amount spent for the scheme totalling up to Rs 19,000 crore.

“This allocation will help farmers avail fresh loans for the current financial year from financial institutions,” Rajender said. In an effort to assist farmers the TRS government has allocated Rs 8,432 crore for agriculture and allied sectors.

Allotting Rs 250 crore for the development of greenhouse farming, the minister said the government will provide a subsidy of 75 per cent on infrastructure costs when farmers set up greenhouses.

The government announced introduction of e-auction in 12 market yards in Telangana, initially with Warangal, Khammam and Nizamabad market yards. Fulfilling the demands of Anganwadi workers, their salary was increased to Rs 7,000 pm. “Mission Kakatiya”, another ambitious project of the TRS government aimed at cleaning and preserving the state’s water bodies, was given Rs 2,083 crore.  A major chunk of the budget allocation, Rs 22,889 crore, was made for salaries.

Responding to the budget, the deputy CLP leader in the Legislature Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir told the media that the Telangana budget was unrealistic and completely hopeless.

Speaking at the Legislature Council media point, he said the figure of Rs 115,689 crore may sound impressive, but  it is far from reality. Despite making a similar allocation of Rs 100,637 crore in the previous budget, the government did not even spend fifty per cent of the allocations. He said the Rs 1 lakh crore allocation is merely to mislead people.

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