Cong., BJP seek reality check on budget estimates

Bhatti Vikramarka says raw deal given to priority sectors

The Congress and BJP have suggested the government to do a reality check on the budget estimates presented to the Assembly earlier this week stating that they were unrealistic and far-fetched.

Participating in the general discussion on budget on Saturday, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka observed that the priority sectors, which drive sustainable growth such as education, health, roads and buildings and rural development, were given a short shrift in the budget as the allocations made were not enough.

Giving some examples of neglect of the priority sectors Mr. Vikramarka pointed out that against the national average of 15.9% allocation for education, the share proposed for the sector was only 6.8% in the present budget of Telangana. Similarly, health sector was given only 3% against the an average of 5.5% of the budget at national level in spite of the COVID pandemic.

He stated that the raw deal was also given to roads and buildings – 2.6% in Telangana against national average of 4.3% — and to rural development – 3.4% in the State against 6.1% at national level. He also pointed out that unemployment was also on the sharp rise in the State as it was at 8.4% in Telangana compared 5.8% at national level, quoting the periodic labour force survey of 2019.

Expressing concern at the unabated increase in the public debt outstanding the Congress member said it was ₹2,86,804 crore as mentioned in the budget documents and along with the State guaranteed loans of over ₹1.05 lakh crore it would be nearly ₹3.92 lakh crore. Rise in the public debt at an alarming level was expected to take it beyond ₹5 lakh crore in the next two years, he noted.

Expressing similar views, M. Raghunandan Rao of BJP sought to know how the government was able scale down the principal repayment of debt to ₹9,139 crore in 2021-22 as against ₹45,790 crore repaid in 2019-20. The provision for interest payment in 2021-22 was ₹17,584 crore against ₹14,386 crore repaid in 2019-20. He suggested the government to make provision for unemployment allowance, construction of four new super speciality hospitals around the city, ₹100 crore promised to Osmania University, among others.

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