As the Union Budget giving clarity on the revenue receipts from the Centre to States, officials of the Telangana Finance Department have begun fine-tuning the State budget for 2021-22.

As per the directions of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, the officials are keeping the budget realistic and focusing on both welfare and developmental programmes.

The State government presented a Rs 1.82 lakh crore budget for 2020-21. However, the economic slowdown coupled with the pandemic dented the State’s revenues besides resulting in reduced tax devolutions from the Centre. Subsequently, the 2020-21 outlay was revised to Rs 1.43 lakh crore.

Though revenue collections, including GST, have improved in the State in the past couple of months, the Chief Minister is learnt to have asked Finance Minister T Harish Rao and officials to prepare a realistic budget, making the optimum use of funds available, including tax devolutions and grants from the Centre besides State revenues.

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“The Chief Minister has instructed that none of the ongoing welfare and developmental schemes should be affected due to the slump in revenues. The officials concerned have also been instructed to examine the possibility of adopting certain Central schemes in the State or club them with State schemes for effective results and optimum use of funds,” a senior officer in the Revenue Department told #KhabarLive.

Sources said the State government, having completed the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (LIS), is likely to make major allocations for the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme and the Dindi Lift Irrigation Scheme. Besides continuing with its farmer welfare schemes, the government is considering releasing the second instalment of the crop loan waiver for which provisions are likely to be made in the budget.

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Provisions are reportedly being made in the budget to implement the recommendations of the first Pay Revision Commission (PRC) after considering its financial implications in addition to expenditure that would be incurred due to the proposed extension of retirement age for government employees.

The government, the sources said, might announce the implementation of two major schemes — unemployment allowance and construction of double bedroom houses by eligible persons in their own plots with government funds.

As per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, Telangana should receive Rs 1.09 lakh crore as its share in tax devolution over the 2021-26 five-year period, which works out to about Rs 21,800 crore per annum. While the State will receive an estimated Rs 88,806 crore as its share in Central taxes and duties over the five-year period, the commission has recommended release of total grants-in-aid amounting to Rs 20,980 crore including special grants of Rs 2,362 crore.

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The State Legislature is likely to meet in March, but dates will be finalised considering the schedule for the MLC elections to two graduates constituencies and elections to around seven municipalities and municipal corporations, including Greater Warangal and Khammam. #KhabarLive #hydnews