Bigger, pro-people Budget in the offing; KCR’s pet schemes to get most funds

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K. Chandrasekhar Rao and finance minister Etala Rajender are giving final touches to the 2017-2018 Budget proposals.

Hyderabad: The TRS government is gearing up for the state budget, which is likely to be bigger than previous year and presented in the first or second week of March.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and finance minister Etala Rajender, who held a series of deliberations with various Heads of Departments, are giving final touches to the 2017-2018 Budget proposals.

Mr Chandrasekhar Rao asked all the ministers present in Thursday’s Cabinet meeting to carefully study the Union Budget and plan the State Budget department-wise. The Chief Minister also advised them to link state schemes and ensure maximum funds for the State from Centre.

Mr Rajender will to present a “development, welfare and pro-people’s Budget” with a big chunk of allocations to 2BHK housing scheme for the poor, irrigation, Mission Bhagiratha, Mission Kakatiya etc., and pet welfare schemes, including the latest doles to single women, a highly placed source in the government told this newspaper.

The source added, “Initially, there was a proposal to present the Budget in the last week of February. But since the Assembly session has just concluded, the government is not in any hurry and not in the mood to present an early Budget.

The Budget may be presented in the first or second week of March.” As against Rs 1,30,415 crore Budget for financial year 2016 -17 (Plan expenditure of Rs 67,630 crore and Non-Plan outlay of Rs 62,785 crore), the finance minister is expected to present a marginally higher Budget for 2017-2018.

“The 2017-2018 budget will be marginally higher despite demonetisation blues. There could be increase of 10/15 per cent from the previous Budget. It could be Rs 1.45 lakh-crore,” the source said.

Like previous year, when the government estimated revenue surplus of Rs 3,381 crore, this Budget too will be revenue surplus, the source said. The government is adopting a flip-flop approach over affect on its revenue due to demonetisation, which it backed to hilt. It once said demonetisation will hit revenues, on another occasion it had asserted that the note ban will have no effect.

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