Andhra Pradesh budget crosses Rs.1 trillionFebruary 16th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by admin
Hyderabad, Feb 16 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister K. Rosaiah Saturday presented a tax-free, revenue-surplus budget for 2008-09 with the overall expenditure crossing Rs.100,000 crore (Rs.1 trillion or $25 billion), claimed to be highest figure for any state in the country. In his budget speech, the finance minister told the state legislative assembly that the overall expenditure in the financial year 2008-09 would be Rs.1,004.36 billion comprising Rs.518.85 billion under non-plan and Rs.485.51 billion under plan heads. This would result in a revenue surplus of Rs.7.09 billion, which would be 0.2 percent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP).
The fiscal deficit is estimated to be Rs.96.57 billion, which would be 2.82 percent of the GSDP.
“The state’s budget of over Rs. one lakh crore is the highest in the country and higher than even our neighbouring country Bangladesh,” Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy told reporters.
“After taking into account the overall transactions of the year, we will have a net surplus of Rs.134 crore (Rs.1.34 billion) The financial year 2008-09 is expected to end with a cash balance of Rs.120 crore (Rs.1.2 billion),” Rosaiah said.
In the last budget before the next year’s elections, the Congress government focused on welfare and development programmes and increased allocation for key sectors.
This was the fifth consecutive budget presented by Rosaiah, who also holds the record of presenting most number of budgets (13) in the state.
Pointing out that the plan size of the state was the highest in the country for last two financial years, he said during 2008-09, the annual state plan is estimated at Rs.432.03 billion, which is Rs.131.85 billion higher than the previous year’s plan.
“This year the plan size is proposed to be 43 percent of the budget, against 32 percent last year,” he said.
He said that the transactions, as per the revised estimates of 2007-08, indicated a revenue surplus of Rs.4.51 billion against the budget revenue deficit of Rs.360 million.
The overall transactions of the current financial year are estimated to result in a net surplus of Rs.2.67 billion. After taking into account the negative balance of Rs.2.81 billion, the year-end balance is estimated to be negative at Rs.140 million.
“For the fourth consecutive year, we have been able to manage the state finances without resorting to the ways and means advances from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India),” he said.
“The state has earned a revenue surplus of about Rs.2,800 crore (Rs.28 billion) for 2006-07, ending the long and unfortunate period of revenue deficits that have adversely impacted the economic growth for the full decade 1994-2004,” he said.
Stating that the annual economic growth rate during 2007-08 was 10.37 percent against the national growth rate of 8.7 percent, he said: “By substantially increasing the plan outlays year after year, we stepped up the public investment in an unprecedented manner, which is responsible for leading the state to a double digit growth rate.”
Agriculture grew by 8.38 percent against the 2.59 percent at the national level. The industry and services sectors in the state registered a growth of 9.88 percent and 11.57 percent respectively as against the national growth rates of 8.90 percent and 11.73 percent for these sectors for the current year.
“Despite huge allocations for revenue expenditure like pensions, scholarships, rice subsidy, power subsidy etc, still attaining revenue surplus speaks volumes about this government’s fiscal prudence and discipline in the management of resources,” he said.
He said the state’s tax revenues during 2008-09 would increase to Rs.378.66 billion, representing a 20.6 percent increase over the current year.
In line with the government priorities, the finance minister has given irrigation (Rs.165 billion) and the Indiramma housing scheme (Rs.58.50 billion) the first and second preference in terms of budgetary allocations.
Agriculture and allied sectors were allotted Rs.27.23 billion, which is 144 percent higher than the current year.
Education was allocated Rs.17.71 billion, 115 percent higher than the current year. The allocation for health was Rs.13.15 billion, up by 73 percent over the current year. Agriculture was allocated an outlay of Rs.16.66 billion, up by 257 percent.
Laying special emphasis on improving infrastructure, the finance minister has allocated Rs.22.77 billion for the sector, an increase of 73 percent.
The government has also accorded priority to the welfare sector. A massive increase of 55 percent was provided to all welfare departments put together.
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