The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday presented a Rs 1.91 lakh crore Budget, with a projected revenue surplus of Rs 5,235 crore for the 2018-’19 financial year, PTI reported. The state promised that the Budget would make every citizen of Andhra Pradesh “a happy person”.
The 2017-’18 budget had an expenditure outlay of Rs 1.56 lakh crore. State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, presenting his last full Budget before the 2019 Assembly elections, said the fiscal deficit would touch Rs 24,205 crore, more than Rs 3,000 crore less than in 2017-’18.
The fiscal deficit was estimated to be 3.48% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017-’18, and is expected to reduce to 2.78% in the next financial year.
In the 2018-’19 Budget, Rs 24,185 crore – the most for any sector – has been allocated to education, and Rs 20,815 crore to rural development. A sum of Rs 13,722 crore has been earmarked for welfare schemes, an increase of over 20%, and Rs 16,978 crore for irrigation, and Rs 12,355 crore for agriculture and allied services.
“We are at the crossroads of development and deficit, perpetuated by the increasing indifference of the Central government in extending our entitlements as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act and the assurances made by former Prime Minister [Manmohan Singh],” Ramakrishnudu asserted while presenting the Budget.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced that the two Telugu Desam Party MPs serving as Union Cabinet ministers would pull out after the Centre did not agree to Andhra Pradesh’s demands to be given special status.
Ramakrishnudu said the state government was striving hard to ensure that all assurances to the people were fulfilled and that Andhra Pradesh achieves a level-playing field with other states.