Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday assured the people of the State that despite the economic downslide, construction works on Kaleshwaram, Palamuru-Rangareddy, Sitarama, Devadula and other major irrigation projects will continue without any interruptions..
“The government will complete the irrigation projects with the funds secured from financial institutions and the margin money,” the Chief Minister said, in his budget presentation in the State Assembly. Stating that the economic slowdown sweeping the country had impacted all States including Telangana, Chandrashekhar Rao said: “The Central government alone decides the broad fiscal policies in the country, and the States have no option but to follow the fiscal policies of the Centre. Telangana State is no exception,” he said. The Chief Minister said the budget was being presented at a time when both the Centre and the State were going through a severe financial crisis. “We have to tread carefully and cautiously during such a testing time. We cannot go beyond certain limits. Against this backdrop of severe financial crunch, the State’s Finance Department did a lot of brain storming, discussed the matter with several experts and with a practical approach, prepared the 2019-20 budget proposals,” he said. Pointing out that there was a lot of difference between the estimates presented in the Vote-on-Account budgets of both the Centre and the State and the proposals presented in the full-fledged budgets, he said based on the provisional figures published by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), it was estimated that there would be a 22.69 growth in Centre’s tax revenue during 2019-20, but in the first quarter, only 1.36 per cent growth was realised. “In Telangana State too, we anticipated a 15 per cent growth rate but only 5.46 per cent could be realised,” he said. Stating that Telangana, in the last five financial years, had recorded an average of 13.6 per cent growth rate in commercial taxes, he said it had witnessed only 6.61 per cent growth in the first four months of this financial year. “In excise, only 2.59 per cent growth was registered in the first four months. In stamps and registration, till last financial year, 19.8 per cent growth rate was recorded, but, in the first four months of this financial year, 17.5 per cent growth was recorded,” Chandrashekhar Rao said, adding that in the case of motor vehicle taxes, there was a steep fall from 19 per cent growth in the last five years to minus 2.06 per cent in the first four months of this financial year. Observing that there was a steep decline in non-tax revenue too, he said that till last year, the growth rate was 14.9 per cent on an average, which dropped to minus 14.16 per cent in the first four months of this year. “In all, non-tax revenue declined by 29 per cent, which is purely due to the economic slowdown,” he added. The Chief Minister said that in addition to the decline in State’s own revenue, the Centre had also made a reduction in the funds that are to be transferred to the State. “For 2019-20 financial year, the centre has cut 4.19 per cent in the State’s share in Central taxes (Devolution). The Centre also reduced allocations in several other items causing severe loss to the State,” he said..