Presenting the state budget, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy claimed that the main focus of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) government, is on the implementation of the promises made in their manifesto. The proposed state budget amounts to Rs 2.27 lakh crore with capital expenditure estimated at Rs 32,293.38 crores and revenue expenditure at Rs 1.8 lakh crore.
Giving importance to agricultural sector, state Agriculture Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, presented a separate agriculture budget with a total outlay of Rs 28,866.23 crore for implementation of schemes such as investment support to farmers, tenant farmers welfare, crop insurance, interest-free loans and ex-gratia to families of farmers, among other schemes.
“The Revised Estimate 2018-19 would result in an overall surplus of Rs.997 crores as against the overall deficit of Rs 3.89 crores in Budget Estimate 2018-19. After taking into account the opening negative balance of Rs 855.45 crores, the year 2018-19 is expected to be closed with a surplus balance of Rs 142.47 crores,” reads the budget document for 2019-20 budget estimates.
The net public debt is estimated at Rs 33,503.99 crore for 2019-20 against 2018-1019’s revised estimate of Rs 24,707 crore.
“It is a good sign for the state that the YSRCP government is trying to implement its electoral promises. However, although the budget appears to be welfare-centric, allotments to minority welfare, women-children welfare, housing, irrigation, urban development sectors have come down which would eventually affect the concerned classes. Also, removal of unemployment allowance scheme by the previous government would disillusion the youth,” said Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M) state secretary, P Madhu, in a media statement.
He cautioned the government not to follow the footsteps of previous governments, which would always snip the actual allotments for poorer sections compared to budget estimates.
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One of the major criticisms of the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government, has been that it undermined crucial sectors including health and education. The massive victory in the recent assembly elections for YSRCP under YS Jagan Mohan Reddy can be attributed to their simple manifesto termed as ‘Navaratnalu’ which has nine broad promises - YSR Rythu Bharosa (financial assistance to farmers), fee reimbursement for poorer sections, Aarogyasri (free medical treatments above Rs 1000 for vulnerable communities), Jalayagnam (focus on irrigation projects), Ban on Alcohol, Amma Vodi (to encourage families with school-going children), YSR Cheyutha (assistance to marginalised and vulnerable communities), housing for all and increase in pensions.
In the 2019-20 budget estimate, the government allotted Rs 11,399 crore for health sector, Rs 3617 crore for housing, Rs 32,618 crore for education, Rs 15061 crore for BC Sub-plan, Rs 14,142 crore for welfare department, Rs 2,234 crore for drinking water corporation and so on.
SPECIAL CATEGORY STATUS
The finance minister told the assembly that their government is still hopeful of achieving the Special Category Status for the state. Perhaps, this prompted the government to allocate just a meager share of Rs 6,587 crore for urban development, despite numerous infrastructure projects under construction in the capital city Amaravathi. On the other hand, Rs 29.329 crore has been allocated for rural development this year.