Hyderabad: The Telangana State budget presentation in the Legislative Assembly by Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Monday was a heady mix of robust figures and sharp words castigating the Centre for its brazen opposition to cooperative federalism enshrined in the Constitution, with Telangana being a major victim. Coming up with a healthy outlay of […]
Hyderabad: The Telangana State budget presentation in the Legislative Assembly by Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Monday was a heady mix of robust figures and sharp words castigating the Centre for its brazen opposition to cooperative federalism enshrined in the Constitution, with Telangana being a major victim.
Coming up with a healthy outlay of Rs 2,56,958 crore for 2022-23 – a hike of 22 per cent over last year’s revised outlay of Rs 2.09 lakh crore – Harish Rao spoke about the progress Telangana made in the past eight years despite an unhelpful and indifferent Centre, the discrimination both in the past and present and the State’s emergence as a torch-bearer despite all the negatives.
What is heartening is that the budget reflects a healthy growth in State’s Own Tax Revenue (SOTR) – from Rs 92,910 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 1.08 lakh crore, a jump of over 16 per cent. The SOTR gains significance as an important component of the budget given the fact that Central assistance, even the obligatory allocations, have been few and far apart.
Anyway which way one looks at it, the budget is aimed at a balanced growth with the expected tilt towards the rural economy evident from the allocations for Panchayat Raj, agriculture and irrigation, and required financial support for infrastructure including the medical and health sector. “The budget is for the transformation of the lives of the poor and it has the mark of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao all over it,” Harish Rao said in his opening remarks.
Taking a swipe at the BJP government in the backdrop of its recent budget presentation in Parliament, the Minister said Telangana does not believe in the trickledown theory of growth. “It does not believe in protecting the interests of big corporations. The bitter truth is that the State has suffered discrimination even after formation. In the combined State, we suffered at the hands of the then rulers and now we are suffering similar discrimination by the Centre,” he said, adding that the union government was creating hurdles in the path of Telangana’s progress.
Harish Rao pointed out that the Centre, instead of incentivising States that are progressive, was actually trying to actively discourage them. “Discrimination of Telangana started from day one of State formation, beginning with the merger of seven mandals of Khammam district with Andhra Pradesh. Promises made in the Reorganisation Act are also yet to be fulfilled,” he said.
“As if this was not enough, whenever there is a discussion on the formation of Telangana State, elders at the Centre pass comments like ‘killing the mother to save the baby’ which is nothing but an insult to the people of Telangana,” Harish Rao said.
Speaking about the rapid strides that Telangana had made since 2014, the Minister said the State, from shortages, had moved to a golden era in welfare. “Telangana has moved from daily insults to its people to a state of self-confidence and self-respect. In democratic India, Telangana is a successful experiment,” he said.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.