Boost for education sector, Rs 6k crore for health: Highlights from Telangana Budget

Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao presented the state Budget in the Assembly on Thursday.
CM KCR and Harish Rao posing with the briefcase of budget documents
CM KCR and Harish Rao posing with the briefcase of budget documents
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Acknowledging the decline in Telangana’s Gross State Domestic Product in 2020-21  owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Telangana government announced its Budget for 2021-22 on Thursday, expressing hope that the economy of the state would make a recovery in the coming months. 

In the Budget, the state government has announced the introduction of two new schemes — the ‘CM Dalit Empowerment Programme’ and another scheme to modernise education, which has collectively been allocated Rs 5,000 crore.

Despite a slump in the economy in recent times, the government estimates that per capita income will increase by 0.6% from last year to Rs 2,27,145 in 2020-21. 

The Finance Minister projected that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is estimated to be at 1.3%.  

The highlights:

1. CM Dalit Empowerment Programme: The Telangana government has announced that it will introduce a new scheme for the “all-round development” of Scheduled Castes. For this new scheme, the government has proposed to allocate Rs 1,000 crore. 

2. Rs 16,931 crore has been allocated for the irrigation sector.

3. An amount of Rs 1,730 crore has been allocated to the state Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Department.

4. Rythu Bandhu: The Rythu Bandhu or input support scheme for farmers, introduced by the Telangana government in 2018, has been allocated Rs 14,800 crore for the year 2021-22. 

5. Crop loan waivers: The Finance Minister said that of the promise made in the last elections that crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh would be waived, loans within Rs 25,000 have already been waived off. He announced that the waivers were delayed due to the pandemic but the other loans will also be waived off “within a short period". For this, Rs 5,225 crore has been allocated.

6. Rythu Bhima: Towards Rythu Bhima, the scheme to aid the families of deceased farmers, the government has allocated Rs 1,200 crore for 2021-22. According to the government, the insurance cover was extended to 32.73 lakh farmers, amounting to Rs 1141.4 crore in 2020-21. He said that in the last three years, an insurance amount of Rs 2,328 crore was paid to 46,564 families of farmers.

7. Rs 2,750 crore has been allocated for the Kalyana Lakshmi/ Shaadi Mubarak scheme, meant to aid parents who seek financial assistance for their daughters’ marriages. Under the scheme, the government provides Rs 1,00,116 to women from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Class and Economically Backward Class communities whose annual income does not exceed Rs 2 lakh. So far, 8,04,521 people have availed the scheme, the minister said.

 8. The Aasara pension scheme has received an allocation of Rs 11,728 crore. The beneficiaries under this scheme include senior citizens, widows, single women, toddy tappers, beedi workers, HIV and filarial patients, who receive Rs 2,016 per month. Persons with disabilities and poor and aging artists are given Rs 3,016. There are a total of 39,36,521 beneficiaries under this pension scheme.

9.  For the welfare of marginalised communities, an amount of Rs 21,306.85 crore has been allocated in the 2021-22 Budget towards the SCs Special Development Fund, and Rs 12,304.23 crore towards the STs Development Fund. For the welfare of Backward Classes, Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for the BC Corporation and Most Backward Class Corporation.

10. Minority Welfare got an allocation of Rs 1,602 crore. The government said that the amount spent on minority welfare between 2008-2014 in undivided Andhra Pradesh was Rs 812 crore, and said it has spent Rs 5,712 crore towards the same in the last six years.  

11. Women and Child Welfare: Rs 1,702 crore has been allocated for Women and Child Welfare. The Finance Minister said that with the introduction of schemes such as Aarogya Lakshmi and the KCR Kit, infant and maternal mortality rates have reduced in the state.   

12. Health: Rs 6,295 crore has been allocated to the Medical and Health Department. The Telangana government spent Rs 1,178.28 crore due to the pandemic including on testing, food, isolation centres, beds and medicines.

13. Education: The state government has formulated a new education scheme to modernise the education system. The proposed allocation for this scheme is Rs 4,000 crore over the next two years. According to the government, in the next two years, the government will provide basic facilities in all government schools and modern technology will be used to teach.

14. Industries:  Rs 3,077 crore is allocated in the Budget Estimates for the industrial sector. In the past six years, permissions have been accorded to 15,252 industrial units, the government said.

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