Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) on Monday, while presenting a revised budget, cut the state’s total expenditure for 2019-20 to ₹1.46 lakh crore from ₹1.82 lakh crore projected in February, citing economic slowdown in the country.
Of the total ₹1.46 lakh crore expenditure estimated for the current fiscal, revenue expenditure has been pegged at ₹1.11 lakh crore and capital expenditure at ₹17,274 crore. In February, Rao had presented a vote-on-account budget in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, and estimated revenue expenditure at ₹1.31 lakh crore and capital expenditure at ₹32,815 crore.
Rao said Telangana registered an average 21.49% revenue growth rate in the last five years. For 2019-20, Telangana estimated a 15% growth in tax revenue of which only 5.46% was realised in the first quarter. “There is a steep decline in the non-tax revenue too. Till last year, the growth rate was 14.9% on an average and during the first four months of this financial year it fell down to minus 14.16%. In all, the non-tax revenue declined 29%. This is purely due to the economic slowdown," he said.
Addressing the Telangana assembly, Rao said revenue surplus in 2019-20 is seen at ₹2,044 crore and fiscal deficit at ₹24,081 crore.
The chief minister, however, clarified that work on major irrigation projects and welfare programmes like Rythu Bandhu--investment support scheme for farmers--will continue.
Telangana may face financial strain in the coming days, as Rao has hiked the pension for the elderly and disabled (from ₹1,500 to ₹2,016), and also increased old-age pension eligibility from 57 to 65 years.
Rao also said “In the first year of GST implementation, in the absence of any proper calculations, Telangana got compensation as was done in the case of all other states. After this, there was no necessity for Telangana to take it again." The state received ₹175 crore in April and May, and ₹700 crore in June and July from the Centre this year as GST compensation.