HYDERABAD: In all probability, the size of the State Budget 2019-20 will shrink by another 10 to 15%, if one goes by the non-release of grants and taxes by the Central government. Its size was cut to Rs 1.46 lakh crore from the vote-on-account budget of Rs 1.82 lakh crore. The reduction in the State’s share of Central taxes, owing to the economic slowdown, will adversely affect the State Budget.
Of the Rs 1.46 lakh crore budget, the State proposed to mop up around Rs 10,000 crore by selling land in phases. But it has not yet started this process. The chances of the State getting the estimated revenue by selling land this financial year are remote. With this, the actual size of the Budget will drop to Rs 1.36 lakh.
Taking into consideration the reduced revenue from the Centre and reduced revenue collections in the state due to the economic slowdown, the size of the Budget is likely to end up between Rs 1.25 lakh crore and Rs 1.3 lakh crore.
Welfare schemes likely to go on despite shrinking budget
The Centre owes the State Rs 1,719 crore of GST, Rs 2,812 crore IGST, Rs 2,027 crore of 13th Finance Commission funds, Rs 450 crore of backward regions grant fund, Rs 450 crore under MGNREGA, which amounts to a total of Rs 7,753 crore. Some of these dues may be realised sooner or later, but with regard to the State’s share of Central taxes, the expected fall this year will be Rs 2,957 crore. These factors will have an impact on the size of the budget.
Though the size of the Budget is expected to shrink drastically, the State government may not change its priorities. Welfare schemes like Aasara, Rythu Bandhu and others will be continued. The capital expenditure on irrigation and other infrastructure projects may be met through loans raised outside the Budget.
The State Cabinet, to meet on Wednesday, will take stock of the financial crisis arisen out of the Centre’s attitude. After that, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain the State’s financial problems. But Rao’s tour has not yet been officially scheduled.
The Cabinet will also discuss irrigation issues, and is likely to approve the construction of a barrage on the Godavari at Dummugudem. The Cabinet will also approve diversion of one more tmcft of water from Kaleshwaram to Mid-Manair.
Ordinance on Lokayukta
According to sources, the Cabinet will also resolve to bring an Ordinance amending the existing Lokayukta. Now, the retired chief justice of High Court should be nominated as chairman of the Lokayukta.