Andhra presents Rs 1.57 lakh crore budget

Amaravati, March 15 Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday presented nearly Rs 1.57 lakh crore budget for 2017-18, the first after moving the state capital from Hyderabad to Amaravati.

Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu proposed total expenditure at 1.57 lakh crore, an increase of 15.71 per cent over the previous year.

This comprised revenue expenditure of Rs 1.26 lakh crore and capital expenditure of Rs 31,087 crore.

The estimated revenue deficit is around Rs 416 crore and the fiscal deficit is estimated at around Rs 23,054 crore, 0.05 per cent and 3 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) respectively.

He said he was feeling privileged to be bringing back legislative power to the historical city of Amaravati after nearly 2,000 years.

The budget allocated Rs 1,061 crore for the development of the new state capital.

The minister assured that funds will not be a constraint in giving shape to dream capital, which will serve as a model for the country.

Ramakrishnudu pointed out that as per advanced estimates, the state could successfully post a healthy growth of 11.61 per cent. Under Vision 2029, the state is targeting a growth rate of 12 per cent every year.

He admitted that shifting the state capital and demonetisation put tremendous stress on the financial resources during 2016-17.

“Further, migration to GST regime is expected to negatively impact the growth of state resources in the short term,” he said.

Claiming that the people took hardships caused by demonetisation in their stride, he said Andhra Pradesh was leading the country in adopting digital payment methods.

The state allocated Rs 9,091 crore constituting 5.79 per cent of total budgetary allocation to agriculture and allied sectors, Rs 19,565 crore to rural development which is 12.46 per cent of total budgetary allocation, and Rs 12,770 crore to irrigation sector comprising 8.13 of total budgetary allocation.

He was confident these allocations will revitalise the rural economy.

The budget has provided Rs 3,600 crore for waiver of farm loans. The state has so far provided Rs 11,000 crore for the scheme.

Agriculture Minister P. Pulla Rao later presented a separate budget for agriculture.

The Finance Minister proposed Rs 7,021 crore for health and family welfare, an increase of 15 per cent over previous year.

The allocation for industries department has been hiked by 113 per cent to Rs 2,086 crore.

He proposed Rs 20,384 crore for general education and Rs 765 crore for technical education. He allocated Rs 11,361 crore for welfare.

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