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  India   Budget 2016: Telangana on a spending spree

Budget 2016: Telangana on a spending spree

Published : Mar 12, 2016, 1:40 pm IST
Updated : Mar 12, 2016, 1:40 pm IST

With Rs 25,000 crore of planned funds unspent, Telangana wings open purse strings.

Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao
 Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao

With Rs 25,000 crore of planned funds unspent, Telangana wings open purse strings.

The Telangana government is set to present its Budget (2016-17) on Monday, with nearly half of the planned expenditure of Rs 52,000 crore of last year’s Budget still unspent. The government hadn’t released funds due to financial constraints.

Now, some departments are trying to rush through the spending in the 15 days of this fiscal remaining. Last year, the government had presented a jumbo Budget of over Rs 1.15 lakh-crore with plan expenditure of Rs 52,000 crore. However, till February, the spending was only Rs 27,000 crore and is expected to touch Rs 30,000 by March-end.

While the plan Budget covers welfare schemes, major component of non-plan Budget goes towards payment of salaries to staff and pensions. The results of last year’s Budget are crucial for TRS government to assess its performance since it was the first full-fledged Budget presented by it after the state was formed in June 2014. The first Budget (2014-15) was presented for 10-month period.

Though the finance department has been conducting quarterly and half-yearly reviews to assess the income and expenditure patterns, it could not ensure various departments meeting targets on expenditure. For instance, the Minority welfare department was allotted Rs 1,100 crore, but only Rs 513 crore was spent.

Even when the total Budget of Rs 1.15 lakh crore, including plan and non-plan expenditure, is taken into account, only Rs 80,000 crore was spent till February. Another Rs 10,000 crore is expected to be spent in March, meaning that nearly Rs 25,000 crore would be unspent.

In its hurry to meet the budgetary targets, the government, since mid-February, is issuing tens of Budget Release Orders (BROs) every day, which in a way would remain only on paper to adjust financial statements but not serve the intended purpose. These BROs were put on public domain till mid-February but the government has blocked the GOs website abruptly since then for obvious reasons. With this, it became difficult to track the Budget spendings.

Sources said the meagre spending was on account of government not earning the targetted revenues through taxes, non-taxes and not getting expected grants from the Centre. The government planned to earn Rs 13,500 crore through sale of lands and BRS/LRS schemes, but earned less than Rs 500 crore. While Rs 2,200 crore was allotted for food subsidy, only Rs 1,500 crore was spent. Rs 11,216 crore was allotted for education, but Rs 7,000 crore was spent.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad