VIJAYAWADA: Even as Andhra Pradesh is grappling with a severe fund crunch and a sharp dip in revenues due to the lockdown, the State government is likely to introduce a Budget of Rs 2.60 lakh crore for Financial Year 2020-21, with a projection of 20 per cent over the previous Budget.
Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy will introduce it when the State Assembly convenes for the Budget session on Tuesday.
In all likelihood, the Budget session will be held for just two days due to the spread of coronavirus, but the Assembly is likely to witness fireworks with the Opposition TDP likely to raise the issue of its leaders being arrested in the past couple of days.
Officials said the Budget is pegged at Rs 2.60 lakh crore, as against the Rs 2.27 lakh crore Budget proposed last financial year.
They estimate that revenues will increase in the coming days, and the state government is trying to bank on the raising of the borrowing limit of states from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product by the Centre.
The Finance Minister recently told TNIE that AP has a good chance of qualifying for additional borrowing from the Centre.
However, the state’s recent revenues are not so promising due to the lockdown. It gets about Rs 6,000 crore per month, but in the past two months, revenues dwindled to Rs 1,300 crore. Officials, however, see a surge in revenues in the coming months.
For the first time in the history of AP Budget sessions, Governor Biswanhushan Harichandan will address the joint session of the House through videoconferencing.
The Budget will be tabled and passed the same day, while the treasury will introduce some Bills for passage on the second day, after which it will be adjourned. Visitors won’t be allowed, and all MLAs and MLCs will be tested for coronavirus a day before the session.
Meanwhile, the TDP decided to raise a series of issues to confront the government on the floor of the House. Though a section of leaders suggested boycotting the session to protest the arrest of MLA K
Atchannaidu and other party leaders, the TDLP on Monday decided to attend the session to expose the “failures” of the government. All MLAs and MLCs would attend the Assembly and Council wearing black shirts as a mark of their protest.
“We will raise the issues of disruption of law and order, LG Polymers gas leak, failure in taking preventive measures against Covid-19, targeting opposition parties by filing false cases and others,” a TDP leader said.