Hyderabad: Congress MP & former TPCC President Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy has described Telangana’s Budget 2023-24 presented by Finance Minister T Harish Rao in the Assembly on Monday as ‘illusionary’ and ‘directionless’.
In a statement here on Monday Reddy said that the proposed expenditure of Rs 2.90 lakh crore was completely unrealistic as this does not match the State’s revenues. “Apparently for the first time in history, the Finance Minister’s speech had no mention of estimated revenues. He did not specify whether the budget was surplus or deficit,” he said.
The Congress MP said that there was no uniformity in the allocation of funds and all major sectors remained neglected. For instance, he said that allocation out of the total budget for the Health Dept was only 4.18 per cent.
Similarly, Secondary Education got just 5.54 per cent while Higher Education got just 1.03 per cent. He said that the State Government did not make any provision to clear the pending Fee Reimbursement and Scholarship dues of over Rs. 3,200 crores and a meagre Rs. 3,001 crores have been allocated for the entire Higher Education Dept.
He said there was no mention of the monthly Unemployment Allowance of Rs. 3,016 which the KCR Government had promised to give to all jobless youth.
Further, he said an amount of only Rs 17,700 crores was allocated for the Dalit Bandhu scheme. He said there were nearly 17 lakh poor Dalit families in Telangana and this budget could not cover even 10 per cent of those beneficiaries.
He said that a sufficient amount was not allocated for the scheme of sheep distribution.
He said that the Finance Minister did not mention anything about the waiver of crop loans. He said that the Chief Minister had promised a farm loan waiver of up to Rs 1 lakh to Telangana farmers on 2nd December 2018.
However, he said crop loans up to Rs 35,000 have been cleared in the last four years. “This was the last budget of the BRS Government and it failed to honour these promises. The Congress party had demanded Rs. 20,000 crores for the completion of Rs 1 lakh loan waiver of all farmers of Telangana as more than 20 lakh farmers and their families are still waiting for it.
However, the Finance Minister has disappointed the farmers of Telangana,” he said.
Reddy ridiculed Harish Rao’s claims of economic development in Telangana State. He said that the Finance Minister did not mention anything about the debts of over Rs 5 lakh crore on Telangana and the impact of their high interest and repayments on the State’s economy. In fact, he dedicated his entire speech to praising the Chief Minister.
“Budget Speech is considered the most sacred document for any State or country as it gives a detailed account of present economic status and future plans. However, Harish Rao’s speech lacked vision and direction. It was no more than a regular political speech delivered in praise of CM KCR,” he said.