HYDERABAD: Continuing the tradition set by his predecessor, finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy is likely to present a jumbo budget of over Rs 1.4 lakh crore for the financial year of 2012-13.
Official sources assure that the budget, scheduled to be presented in the State Legislative Assembly on February 17, would be realistic and lay emphasis on welfare and development programmes.
The latest budget will reflect the priorities of the state government providing more allocations to welfare, development, farmer, women and youth schemes apart from health and education sectors. According to sources, more allocations are expected to new initiatives like Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu, Indira Jala Prabha, Rachabanda, Re1kgrice as per the suggestions made by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
"The next year, we have to do a balancing act allocating more for welfare schemes for sections ranging from women and farmers to youth and minorities since elections will be only one year away from then.
Further, we have been instructed to ensure that budget allocations made for the existing populist schemes should not get affected in case any fresh schemes are announced in near future," said a senior official in the finance department. While the officials have assured that there would be no major increase in direct taxes, they hinted at imposition of more indirect taxes through commercial taxes (VAT), excise, stamps and registrations and other department with an increase of about 2530 per cent in revenue targets.
The chief minister was also particular about effective implementation of welfare schemes like social security pensions, Pavala Vaddi, self help groups, housing, Aarogyasri, fee reimbursement and scholarships, MGNREGA and other such programmes. He also wanted the officials not to neglect programmes like Jalayagnam and other novel initiatives in education and health sectors.
Though Jalayagnam remains a priority programme, an increase in allocation is unlikely as less than Rs 8,000 crore was utilised by the irrigation department though Rs 15,500 crore had been allocated last year.
The thrust will be on strengthening the existing schemes for their effective implementation while a provision will be made for any new initiatives that may be announced during the next financial year.
It is learnt that the allocation for the special fund for welfare and development activities is likely to go up from Rs 400 crore to about Rs 500 crore. Further, special focus will be made on development of Hyderabad.
Ramanarayana Reddy, who presented Rs 1.28lakhcrore budget for 201112, will be presenting his second budget this year. Speaking to reporters in Tirupati on Friday, he said the budget would be welfare and developmentoriented. "The government will ensure mobilisation of required economic resources and will see that the budget is acceptable to all sections of society," he said.