Telangana to roll in austerity steps

Strict adherence to budgetary allocations to tide over slowdown and delay in release of Central funds

By Author  |  Published: 12th Dec 2019  1:20 am
State cabinet
File photo

Hyderabad: The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to implement austerity measures in all government departments and strictly adhere to budgetary allocations to tide over the severe economic slowdown and delay in release of funds from the Centre.

Besides making all efforts to get the pending payments from the Centre, the Ministers and officials concerned have been instructed to maintain financial discipline for effective implementation of developmental and welfare schemes.

The State Cabinet, which had a marathon five-hour meeting at Pragathi Bhavan here, extensively discussed the State finances, release of pending funds from the Centre and available resources to increase the State revenues among other issues.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who chaired the meeting, observed that the Union government was not even releasing the State’s due share in taxes through devolution of funds and also GST compensation, besides allocations made to the State in the Union Budget. “The State revenues have also declined considerably due to the impact of economic slowdown in the country. Under these circumstances, every paisa should be spent judiciously.

Stringent austerity measures must be implemented and there can be no exceptions as no department can spend more than their respective budgetary allocation,” he asserted.

Additional revenue

The Cabinet also discussed possible resources to generate additional revenue, besides improving income through effective implementation of norms without placing any burden on the people of the State. The Chief Minister wanted the officials to plug loopholes to ensure effective tax collections.

Further, the Cabinet decided to build a barrage on Godavari River at Dummugudem to generate 320 MW of hydel power at an estimated cost of Rs 3,482 crore over the next two successive budget years. The officials informed that there will be ample water at Dummugudem for at least five months of the year, which can be utilised to generate power at a low cost. The barrage will be constructed with a storage capacity of 37 tmc and 63 metre height to store water in the river itself, without any land acquisition.

As part of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS), the Cabinet decided to undertake necessary construction works to supply 3 tmc per day up to Mid Manair reservoir from Medigadda as against the existing infrastructure which can lift only 2 tmc per day. Officials have proposed lifting 3 TMC per day as there is ample water supply in Godavari at Medigadda. The works will be taken up over two fiscals at an estimated cost of Rs 11,806 crore.

Buoyed by the response to the 30-day Action Plan from people, the Chief Minister directed the officials to conduct a 10-day special drive during January and take up various developmental works in rural areas of the State. He expressed displeasure over the failure of officials in continuing the spirit of the 30-day Action Plan and taking adequate measures to continue developmental activities in villages. He warned them against any callousness towards attending their respective duties in future.

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