Mohammed Ali Shabbir

TS Budget for 2021-22 is illusionary, far from reality: Congress

Hyderabad, March 18, 2021: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has described the budget for the financial year 2021-22, presented by Finance Minister T. Harish Rao in Assembly on Thursday, as ‘illusionary, deceptive, misleading and far from reality.

Shabbir Ali said that the budget was nowhere close to the real economic situation. “It is ridiculous that the TRS Govt is proposing to spend over Rs. 2.32 lakh crore while it has actual revenues of less than Rs. 1.20 Lakh Crore,” he said.

The revenues through Taxes and Duties in the year 2018-19 and 2019-20 were Rs. 83,234.95 Cr and Rs. 83,585.08 Cr respectively while the revised estimate for 2020-21 stands at Rs. 87,926.90 Cr. However, the State Government expects this to grow by Rs. 18,973.23 Crore to Rs. 1,06,900.13 Crore in the year 2021-22.

Similarly, it expects an increase in Non-Tax revenues from Rs. 19,305.58 Crore in 2020-21 to Rs. 30,557.35 Cr, an increase by Rs. 11,251.77 Cr. It also expects a spike in Grant-in-Aid by Rs. 28,144.10 Crore from Rs. 10,525.36 Cr in 2020-21 to Rs. 38,669.46 Cr in 2021-22.

The total revenue receipts were Rs. 1.01 Lakh Crore in 2018-19 which increased by about Rs. 1100 Crore to Rs. 1.02 Lakh Cr in 2019-20. The State Government has estimated the total revenues to be Rs. 1.17 Lakh Crore in 2020-21. With just 13 days left for the end of the current financial year, the State Government is not likely to achieve this target due to various factors. However, it displayed ‘over optimism’ by estimating the total revenues to be Rs. 1.76 Lakh Crore an increase by a whopping Rs. 58,369.10 Crore without actually explaining its sources, he said.

Further, Shabbir Ali said that the budget figures clearly show that the TRS Government was planning to burden the common man with Rs. 30,225 Crore in the financial year 2021-22 with new taxes, increase in existing taxes or other modes. Despite having no clarity on how it would mobilise Grant-in-Aid of Rs. 38,669.46 Crore, the State Government is planning to borrow another Rs. 49,300 Crore.

“TRS Govt should have adopted a true realistic approach in drafting the budget for 2021-22. Managing the State’s economy is no different from running a house wherein the head of the family plans expenditure in a judicious manner by taking into account the overall income. As no house can sustain in the long run by taking huge loans on high interest, no State can progress by pushing its people into a huge debt burden. Telangana State is already spending nearly Rs. 10,000 Crore towards installment and interest of loans it already took. These wrong economic moves will have a negative impact on the future generations of Telangana,” he said.

With regard to the double bedroom housing scheme, Shabbir Ali said that the Finance Minister has finally admitted that the State Government did not construct promised one lakh houses in Hyderabad. “Before the GHMC elections this year, Ministers K. Tarakarama Rao and Talsani Srinivas Yadav made false claims that one lakh 2BHK units have been constructed in Hyderabad alone. But today, the Finance Minister admitted that so far, only 52,456 double bedrooms have been completed in rural and urban areas in the State. He did not specify when the remaining units, out of 2.75 lakh promised houses, would be completed.

Shabbir Ali said that Hyderabad got a raw deal in this year’s budget. He said no new development scheme has been announced and Rs. 1,000 Crore for Hyderabad Metro Rail were dues which the State Government needs to clear as per the agreement it had with HMRL. There is no mention of extending Metro Rail in the Old City from Imlibun to Falaknuma and no amount has been earmarked for land acquisition. He said there was no substantial increase in the budget for the welfare of SCs, STs, BCs and minorities compared to the overall increase in the budget.

‘TRS Govt cheating on minorities’ welfare’

 

Shabbir Ali said that the TRS Government was cheating the minorities by creating a hype of “spending Rs. 2,000 Crore” for their welfare while the spending was never 50% of the total allocations. He said this year only Rs.1602 Crore have been allocated in the budget. He pointed out that Rs. 1,973 Crore were allocated in the year 2018-19. Citing the economic crisis, the amount was reduced to Rs. 1,344 Cr in 2019-20 and Rs. 1,136 in 2020-21. Of this, not even 50% of allocated amounts were spent. This year, the spending was less than 39%.

“Harish Rao himself has confessed that the TRS Govt has spent only Rs. 5,712 Crore in the last six years. He should’ve also mentioned that this spending was against the allocation of Rs. 9070 Crore in the last six years. This clearly means that nearly Rs. 3,500 Crore meant for minorities welfare lapsed. Therefore, the State Government should ensure that the unspent amounts are carried forward in the next financial year. To begin with, he said nearly 60% of unspent funds of 2020-21 must be spent in the next financial year,” he said.

Shabbir Ali demanded that the TRS Govt ensure that 100% of allotted funds are spent, especially on the welfare of minorities, SC, ST, BC and other weaker sections.

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