“I regret that I am presenting the state budget for 2019-20 in the House when both the Centre and State are going through a severe financial crisis. We have to tread carefully and cautiously during such a testing time. We cannot go beyond certain limits.”
This was K Chandrasekhar Rao, admitting in as many words during his state budget speech, that the Telangana exchequer is facing a serious challenge.
And the steep fall in the GDP has had an adverse impact on the proposed expenditure for the 2019-20 financial year. In the vote on account budget presented before the elections, Rs 1,82,017 crore was shown as expenditure.
“But all the major sectors are experiencing downward trend. Revenues have fallen. The country’s economic situation has a bearing on the state too. The government has decided to formulate the budget based on the change in the scenario and the ground realties. The proposed expenditure for the 2019-20 financial year is Rs.1,46,492.30 crore,” said KCR.
A look at the figures presented reveal the picture more clearly. Telangana had anticipated 15 per cent growth in tax revenue but in the first quarter of 2019-20, only 5.46 per cent has been realised.
In the last five financial years, Telangana recorded an average of 13.36 per cent growth rate in commercial taxes. In the first four months this financial year, it is only 6.61 per cent.
In stamps and registration, till last financial, 19.8 per cent growth rate was recorded. That has dipped marginally to 17.5 per cent in the first four months of this financial year.
The worst situation is in motor vehicle taxes where the last five years recorded a 19 per cent growth rate. It has now declined to minus 2.06 per cent in the first four months of 2019-20.
The non-tax revenue is down to minus 14.16 per cent compared to a growth rate of 14.9 per cent in the last five years.