The Andhra Pradesh government presented a budget of Rs 1.91 lakh crore with a projected revenue surplus of Rs 5,235 crore on Thursday, a day after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) pulled out its two ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre for not granting special category status and enough funds to the state.
“It is important to note that I am proposing a revenue surplus budget for the year 2018-19 anticipating that the Government of India would release all the dues as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 at least this year,” Finance Minister Y Ramakrishnudu said.
He, however, added that the state’s fiscal deficit would be Rs 24,205 crore, about Rs 3,000 crore less than 2017-18. Andhra Pradesh had presented a budget of Rs 1.56 lakh crore last year. “The budget estimates has increased by 21.69 per cent. Per capita income of the state rose to Rs 1,42,054 in 2017-18 from Rs 1,23,664 in 2016-17, registering a jump of 14.87 per cent,” he said.
The Opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) immediately dismissed the budget as “cooking of numbers to show Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s achievements which do not exist”.
YSRCP MLA B Rajendra Reddy said: “Andhra Pradesh reported a revenue deficit of Rs 7,300 crore in 2015-16; Rs 2,220 in 2016-17 and Rs 4,018 crore in 2017-18. How did it suddenly become revenue surplus?”
Ramakrishnudu said that with an emphasis on education, Rs 24,185 crore has been allotted. rural development got Rs 20,815 crore, welfare schemes received Rs 13,722 crore, irrigation 16,978 crore and agriculture Rs 12,355 crore.
“In 2018-19, I propose a revenue expenditure of Rs 1.50 lakh crore, an increase of 19.35 per cent and a capital expenditure of Rs 28,678 crore an increase of 30.60 per cent, including Rs 9,351 crore towards principal repayment of public debt,” he added. The finance minister proposed to allocate Rs 100 crore to assist brides of Scheduled
Class and Backward Class communities.
“We are at the crossroads of development and deficit, perpetuated by the increasing indifference of the Central government in extending our entitlements as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, and the assurances made by the then Prime Minister on the floor of Rajya Sabha. Our government has approached the situation with a clear vision and meticulous execution. We moved from despair to hope, disillusionment to confidence and deprivation to growth,” Ramakrishnudu said.
“The state government’s commitment to withstand difficulties and come out with specific growth strategies has started yielding fruitful results with double-digit inclusive growth strategy,” he said.