HYDERABAD: Will Telangana have three separate budgets from this financial year? Earlier, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced a separate Agriculture Budget. Now, barely two months ahead of the Budget Session, there are talks that the State may also introduce a separate budget for women.
As part of the Telangana State-2024 First Decade Document, officials concerned have proposed a separate budget for women. The document was being prepared at the behest of the Chief Minister, and the draft document would be submitted to him before the session begins.
According to sources, the officials as part of the First Decade Document, suggested the idea. If the Chief Minister agrees, Telangana will become the first state to have a “gender-based Budget”. TRS has been luring various sections of people ahead of Assembly polls and making budgetary allocations based on the population of various castes.
Whether the Chief Minister will consider the gender-based Budget remains to be seen. Sources say that while women are largely ignored in the budgeting exercise, there has been some improvement since Chandrasekhar Rao assumed charge. Sources add that the Chief Minister is willing to allocate more funds for women in accordance with their share in population and needs. As per the revised budget estimates of 2016-17, the total allocations for the women and child welfare in the State was `78,279.90 lakhs and as per the budget estimates for 2017-18, it was `88177.44 lakhs. This is just 5-6 per cent of the total budgeted expenses.
“We do not know how the Budget will be, whether it’s a single budget or more. It’s basically a document based on political will, and we will implement what the Chief Minister dictates,” said a senior official in the Finance Department.
Sources added that if Rao does not announce a separate budget for women, he would substantially increase funds allocated for their welfare, with an eye on the vote bank. The current government is already drawing flak for not including women in the State Cabinet, and the party is hoping to nullify this criticism. Besides, the state is also likely to launch a sub-plan for backward classes, just as it did for SC and STs.‘TS has enormous growth potential’
The TS-2024 first decade document being prepared by the Centre for Good Governance saw enormous growth potential in the state. As per the draft, the State could give irrigation water to 1.25 crore acres and literacy rate can go up to 90 pc. It is expected that the State Budget may touch `5 lakh crore mark from the present `1.49 lakh crore by 2024.