Harish Rao’s budget speech was ‘illusionary’ and ‘directionless’: Uttam

हैदराबाद: कांग्रेस सांसद और टीपीसीसी के पूर्व अध्यक्ष कैप्टन एन. उत्तम कुमार रेड्डी ने सोमवार को विधानसभा में वित्त मंत्री टी. हरीश राव द्वारा पेश तेलंगाना के बजट 2023-24 को ‘भ्रमपूर्ण’ और ‘दिशाहीन’ बताया है।

Hyderabad: Congress MP & former TPCC President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has described Telangana’s Budget 2023-24 presented by Finance Minister T. Harish Rao in the Assembly on Monday as ‘illusionary’ and ‘directionless’.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the proposed expenditure of Rs. 2.90 lakh crore was completely unrealistic as this does not match the State’s revenues. “Apparently for the first time in history, the Finance Minister’s speech had no mention of estimated revenues. He did not specify whether the budget was surplus or deficit,” he said.

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The Congress MP said that there was no uniformity in the allocation of funds all major sectors remained neglected. For instance, he said that allocation out of the total budget for the Health Dept was only 4.18%. Similarly, Secondary Education got just 5.54% while Higher Education got just 1.03%. He said that the State Govt did not make any provision to clear the pending Fee Reimbursement and Scholarship dues of over Rs. 3,200 crores and a meagre Rs. 3,001 crores have been allocated for the entire Higher Education Dept. He said there was no mention of the monthly Unemployment Allowance of Rs. 3,016 which the KCR Govt had promised to give all jobless youth.

Further, he said an amount of only Rs. 17,700 crores was allocated for the Dalit Bandhu scheme. He said there were nearly 17 lakh poor Dalit families in Telangana and this budget could not cover even 10% of those beneficiaries. He said sufficient amount was not allocated for the scheme of sheep distribution.

He said that the Finance Minister did not mention anything about the waiver of crop loans. He said that the Chief Minister had promised a farm loan waiver of up to Rs. 1 lakh to Telangana farmers on 2nd December 2018. However, he said crop loans up to Rs. 35,000 have been cleared in the last four years. “This was the last budget of the BRS Govt and it failed to honour these promises. The Congress party had demanded Rs. 20,000 crores for the completion of Rs. 1 lakh loan waiver of all farmers of Telangana as more than 20 lakh farmers and their families are still waiting for it. However, the Finance Minister has disappointed the farmers of Telangana,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy ridiculed Harish Rao’s claims of economic development in Telangana State. He said that the Finance Minister did not mention anything about the debts of over Rs. 5 lakh crore on Telangana and the impact of their high interest and repayments on the State’s economy. In fact, he dedicated his entire speech to praising the Chief Minister. “Budget Speech is considered the most sacred document for any State or country as it gives a detailed account of present economic status and future plans. However, Harish Rao’s speech lacked vision and direction. It was no more than a regular political speech delivered in praise of CM KCR,” he said.

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