Over Rs.1.11 lakh crore budget for Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad : The first budget of Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation was presented in the state assembly Wednesday, proposing an expenditure of Rs.1,11,824 crore during 2014-15, including a Plan expenditure of Rs.26,673 crore.

Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu presented the budget with revenue deficit of Rs.6,064 crore and a fiscal deficit of Rs.12,064 crore.

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The fiscal deficit works out to 2.3 percent and revenue deficit to 1.16 percent of GSDP.

The budget estimates include the receipts and expenditure of two months relating to undivided State. The anticipated additional assistance from Centre for state reorganisation is Rs.14,500 crore.

The highest allocation of Rs.12,595 crore was made for school education, followed by Rs.8,465 crore for irrigation and Rs.7,164 crore for energy. The government plans to develop 3,000 MW of wind and 2,000 MW of solar power in a phased manner. An amount of Rs.5,000 crore is proposed to be invested in developing a green corridor for harvesting wind and solar power.

While highlighting the challenges faced by Andhra Pradesh due to reorganisation, Ramakrishnudu expressed confidence that the budget will initiate the process of building the new state on sound lines and pave the way for taking rapid strides in the years to come.

Alleging that there was rampant corruption and failure of governance during the past 10 years, he said the state also witnessed successive agitations and strikes and the situation was compounded by the manner in which the state was bifurcated.

“The unfortunate scenario which the present government has inherited leaves me in an unenviable position to deal with the complexities and problems the state is burdened with. We have to now reinvent the process of building the economy once again the way in which we handled earlier,” he said.

The minister said the provisions made in the AP Reorganisation Act 2014 for the development of Andhra Pradesh are mere tokenism and they cannot compensate for the loss of opportunity for the people of Andhra Pradesh due to the division of the state.

He told the assembly that under Vision 2029, the government’s endeavour was to make the state Swarnandhra Pradesh or a golden Andhra Pradesh.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government has also set a target of placing the state among the best three performing states in the country by 2022. “The challenges are many but there is determination to see the state attains an enviable position in the country,” he added.

Ramakrishndu said the government was committed to taking up the measures required for making farming sustainable and remunerative. He said that fulfilling its poll promise, the government waived crop loans despite the huge financial burden and severe financial stress.