Telangana’s maiden budget was on Wednesday presented in the state assembly, proposing an expenditure of Rs.1,00,637 crore during 2014-15, including a proposal to hike MLAs’ salaries to Rs.2 Lakh per month, which was ridiculed in media citing unabated farmers’ deaths in rural areas.
This includes a plan expenditure of Rs.48,648 crore and non-plan outlay of Rs.51,989 crore. Finance Minister Etela Rajender presented the budget, with fiscal deficit of Rs.17,398 crore.
“The estimated revenue surplus is Rs.301.02 crore. The marginal revenue surplus is entirely on account of additional resource mobilisation proposed in the budget,” he said.
The minister said he was feeling proud to present the first budget of Telangana state. “This is also a historic occasion for four crore people of the state, as they take control of their own resources and fate,” he said.
He told the house that the budget is in tune with the government’s dream of ‘golden Telangana’. “The long journey to the realisation of ‘Bangaru Telangana’ has just started and with the active participation of people, there will be no looking back till we reach our destination, which will be sooner than later,” he added.
Stating that opportunities were lost and problems accumulated as a result of deliberate neglect of Telangana over last six decades, he said the immense task before the government is not only to correct historic wrongs but also to quickly impart social and economic justice for vast majority of the people.
He announced an allocation of Rs.100 crore towards financial assistance for the families of people who laid down their lives for the separate state. The government has identified families of 459 martyrs who will get Rs.10 lakh each.
But the budget is silent on the fact that nearly 350 farmers have committed suicide in 5 months since Telangana was formed and the minister apparently sidelined the issue. Telangana farmers suicides are a direct result of the acute power and water crisis that the state is facing.