Friday, June 14, 2024

T’gana draws a blank

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NAVEENA GHANATE
Hyderabad

Once again, it has been a disappointing budget for Telangana as a state. Although the state government had put out a wish list in keeping with federal norms, none of its proposals and suggestions was addressed in the Union Budget.

Most importantly, there was no mention of the promises made under the AP Reorganisation Act.The ninth budget is no different, as Telangana, like in the previous eight Union Budgets introduced by the BJP-led Union government, did not receive sufficient funds.  

There is no word about the railway coach factory that Telangana has been asking for nine years.The funds given to the tribal university are bare minimum.Kaleshwaram has not been given status of a national project.

Telangana was supposed to get Rs 1,350 crore as a fund for backward areas as included in the Reorganisation Act.Telangana did not get anything in the current budget, but Rs 5,300 crore has been allocated for the development of drought and backward areas in poll-bound Karnataka.

The Centre had offered to increase the FRMB limit to raise loans for states by 0.5 per cent of GSDP if states install meters for agriculture pump sets in five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25. Telangana has been against implementing some of the power reforms, including installation of meters on farm pump sets.

As per the Budget, 0.5 per cent FRBM will be allowed only if power reforms are implemented.Telangana had categorically stated that it would not install meters.This means that the state will have to forgo raising another Rs 6,000 crore, despite giving farmers a better deal than most states.

Telangana has been demanding certain GST concessions and special incentives for performing states. No such concessions or incentives have been granted.Telangana did not get anything new in relation to industry.Telangana wanted support for NIMZ, Industrial Corridor, and Pharma City, among others.  

Telangana has been demanding the Centre to implement the recommendations of the Central Finance Commission. Telangana has been raising its voice to reduce burden of cesses, but there is no relief.

The total Central tax collection is estimated at 33,68,858 crore in 2022-23. Of this, the share of states has been estimated at Rs 10,21,488 crore.The Center gives only 30.4 per cent of the total tax revenue collected by the Center to the states. According to the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, 41 per cent of the taxes collected by the Center should be given to the states.

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