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TelanganaTelangana Budget: PR and RD gets over Rs 29k crore, MAUD Rs...

Telangana Budget: PR and RD gets over Rs 29k crore, MAUD Rs 15k crore

Published: 18th Mar 2021 5:02 pm

Hyderabad: Ending decades of neglect by the previous governments, the State government is improving the living standards of the people in the State by changing the faces of both urban and rural areas. Funds too are being allocated for both urban and rural development on a priority, besides ensuring timely their release to the local bodies every month as per the new Municipal and Panchayat Raj Acts brought by the State last year.

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In the 2021-22 budget, Rs 29,271 crore has been allocated for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development departments against Rs 23,005 crore allocated during 2020-21 budget. Similarly, Rs 15,030 crore has been sanctioned for Municipal Administration and Urban Development department compared to Rs 14,808 crore in 2020-21 budget. The focus will be on effective implementation of both Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi during the upcoming financial year.

Presenting the State budget 2021-22 in the Assembly here, Finance Minister Harish Rao said due to decades of neglect, the villages have turned into dust bowls and presented a pathetic sight with garbage strewn all around, dilapidated houses, weeds along the paths, abandoned wells, potholes and accumulated plastic waste all over the villages. “To transform these villages, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao launched the Palle Pragathi to make villages clean and green by equipping them with all the necessary facilities,” he said.

With the active participation of the people, Palle Pragathi programme has changed the very face of the villages. There was special focus on garbage collection where every village was provided with a dump yard and a tractor to transport the garbage to the dump yard. Only 84 gram panchayats owned tractors before the State formation, while the government made tractors available across 12,668 gram panchayats this year.

Further, the new Panchayat Raj Act fixed a special responsibility and also allocated special funds to the village sarpanches to improve greenery. Extensive plantations were taken up in every village where water tankers were provided to ensure watering and protection of saplings. The new Panchayat Raj Act also mandates allocation of 10 per cent of the budget of the local bodies towards green budget. “The Telangana government has made all villages open defecation free (ODF) by taking up comprehensive construction of toilets. Appreciating these efforts, the State government was conferred with ‘Swachcha Sarvekshana Award’ by the Centre,” he added.

The Panchayat Raj Act also made it mandatory to release funds to the rural local bodies every month and accordingly, about Rs 5,761 crore were released to gram panchayats for their development this fiscal. “I can confidently say that the basic facilities like tractor, trolly, tanker, nursery, Palle Pragathi vanams, Vaikuntadhaamams and dumpyards which have been made available for gram panchayats in Telangana State, are not available in any other State,” the Minister said.

Harish Rao stated that the Fifteenth Finance Commission reduced the transfers to the local bodies by Rs 699 crore with regards to Telangana State. However, Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao decided providing the matching grants to the local bodies without imposing any cuts. For the first time, the Chief Minister had decided to provide Rs 500 crore every year to the Mandal Parishads (Rs 248 crore) and Zilla Parishads (RS 252 crore) to ensure that there is no disruption in development activities. The government will soon finalise the modalities for utilisation of these funds shortly.

Urban Development (Pattana Pragati)

In view of rapid urbanisation in the State, the State government recognized the importance of improving the facilities in urban areas accordingly. The new Municipal Act was formulated to ensure transparent administration, with clear demarcation of the powers and responsibilities of public representatives. The State government initiated Pattana Pragathi programme on the lines of its succefull Palle Pragati programme in the State. About Rs 148 crore is released to urban local bodies every month under ‘Pattana Pragati’ to prevent any financial hurdles.

The government is constructing public toilets aggressively for the convenience of people who are facing difficulties due to lack of toilets in urban areas. Before ‘Pattana Pragati’ was launched, there were only 4,804 public toilets in the State, but the State government had built 9,216 new public toilets in the current financial year, and made 14,020 toilets available for public use across the municipalities, corporations and GHMC. One toilet was built per every 1,000 population which won accolades from the Centre. As part of efforts to create more crematoriums and graveyards, the government approved funds amounting to Rs 200 crore for construction of Vaikuntadhamams with modern facilities across all urban areas. Similarly, about Rs 500 crore have been set aside for construction of integrated vegetable and meat markets in every municipal town across the State.

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