With an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, the Telangana government on Friday presented a vote-on-account Budget for 2019-20 in the Assembly, lowering the age limit for old age pension, and hiking pensions more than twofold.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the budget with a total outlay of Rs 12,067 crore for pensions. The government has decided to lower the age limit for old age pensions from 65 years to 57, Rao said, adding that this would benefit lakhs of people. He also hiked monthly pensions for aged, widowed and single women; women beedi makers; handloom workers; and toddy tappers from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2016.
“The state government also proposed the introduction of an unemployment allowance of Rs 3,016 per month. “The details of the scheme are being worked out, and an amount of Rs 1,810 crore has been proposed in the Budget,” Rao said.
The government has increased the total outlay for agriculture sector from Rs 15,788 crore in 2018-19 to to Rs 20,107 in 2019-20.
Rao announced a waiver of agriculture term loans up to Rs 1 lakh, outstanding as on December 11, 2018. The government will pay nearly Rs 6,000 crore towards the loan waiver.
The government also increased the crop investment support under Rythu Bandhu scheme from Rs 4,000 per acre per crop season to Rs 5,000 per acre per crop.
The government has also decided to extend all schemes meant for welfare of SCs and STs to poor eligible beneficiaries belonging to the minority communities, including Muslims.
KCR also announced ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh for the families of each of the 40 CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack on February 14.