HYDERABAD: There are no new taxes. Allocations to key sectors such as irrigation and social welfare have been drastically reduced and the blame laid on the previous UPA government for “unscientifically dividing the united Andhra Pradesh”. Effort has been made to draw the attention of the Centre to the grave financial situation the state is facing and build a strong case to get aid.
This, in a nutshell, is how the AP government prepared the State’s annual budget for the financial year 2015-16, which was introduced by State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu in the Assembly and Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana in the Legislative Council respectively here on Thursday. Ramakrishnudu presented the maiden full-fledged budget for AP, post division, for the fiscal year 2015-16 with a slightly higher outlay of Rs 1,13,049 crore, with the hope of getting more central aid.
Though he prepared the budget by cutting allocations to some key sectors such as irrigation and social welfare to reduce the gap between revenue and expenditure to convince the Centre that the reorganised State is passing through a severe financial crisis post-bifurcation, he refrained from imposing new taxes on the common man.
“Even though the State is facing a precarious financial situation, our government has refrained from burdening the common man by imposing new taxes. Instead, the budget is aimed at looking into possibilities of increasing non-tax revenue by exploring mineral wealth,” Ramakrishnudu said.
Interestingly, despite the financial constraints the State is facing, the Finance Minister tried to paint a rosy picture of the State in the infrastructure sector in the budget.
He allocated Rs 300 crore for construction of metro rail in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, besides earmarking an amount of Rs 300 crore for the construction of new capital city.
At the same time Ramakrishnudu also proposed to modernise existing airports in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati, apart from setting up three new airports across the State.
He also suggested to construct a Greenfield airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagarm district.