HYDERABAD: Expressing dissatisfaction at the Central government for not taking measures to encourage the performance of Telangana in the Union budget 2018-19, State Finance Minister E Rajender said the budget did not reflect the words of the Prime Minister that strong States would make a strong country. Excerpts from the chat:
How much funds did the State expect from the Centre in 2018-19 budget?
We submitted proposals for more than Rs 50,000 crore worth projects, but not even `1,000 crore was sanctioned to us.
What are your demands?
We sought Rs 24,440 crore for Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya, Rs 10,000 crore for Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme. We also sought sufficient allocations for the proposed steel factory, regional university, tribal university, AIIMS, railway coach factory and others.
What could be the reason for neglecting TS in the budget?
The BJP-ruled States and those who have influence at the Centre got the funds. The Union budget is not truly reflecting the PM Narendra Modi’s words that a country can only progress if it stands on the strong pillars of the States.
What had you expected as per the slogan that strong States make a strong country?
Telangana is performing well on all fronts and such performing States should be encouraged. Telangana stood as a role model for the country in terms of implementing development programmes and welfare schemes. If progressive States like Telangana are encouraged, it will lead to competitiveness among all the States to perform even better. But, such a spirit is missing in the budget.
Finally, how do you rate the Union budget?
There are no efforts made in the budget to reduce disparities between the urban and rural dwellers. No measures have been proposed to enhance the per capita income of rural people. The budget is a “so-so” one.