Farmers, citizens of developing states, all harmed with Budget 2023-24: T Harish Rao

T Harish Rao presented 12 points which showed why this term’s Union Budget failed the country and Telangana

Harish Rao

HYDERABAD: Telangana Health and Finance Minister T Harish Rao said that the Union Budget for 2023-24 was an anti-farmer and anti-development budget. He said that this year’s budget, as compared to the previous year’s, was worse and took away many subsidies and concessions from many sections of people.

He said that the budget did injustice to the Telangana State. None of the promises made during the State’s bifurcation was fulfilled, Harish Rao said. A railway coach factory, GST concessions, industrial budget to Telangana and funds for development of medical infrastructure in the State were not included in the budget, he said.

T Harish Rao presented 12 points which showed why this term’s Union Budget failed the country and Telangana. The following were the points he mentioned:

  1. Funds cut in the employment guarantee scheme: The Central Government has cut funds in the budget for the employment guarantee scheme. While Rs 89,400 crores were allocated in the last budget, this time it was reduced to Rs 60,000 crores.
  2. Deduction in food security funds for the poor:
    Rs. 2,87,194 crores were allocated in 2022-23, but this time it has been reduced to Rs 1,97,350 crores. That means a deduction of Rs 89,844 crores for food subsidy in this budget.
  3. No medical/nursing colleges to Telangana: While the Center sanctioned 157 medical and nursing colleges to various states in the country, not a single one was given to Telangana.
  4. Biassed towards BJP-ruled states and no bifurcation promises fulfilled:
    Funds promised to Telangana were not yet released and Kanataka was given Rs 5,300 crore.
  5. Farmers’ funds deducted: Last year the budget of Rs 68 thousand crore was allocated for PM Kisan Fund, but this time the Centre reduced it to Rs 60 thousand crore. At the same time, the PM Kisan earlier benefited 11.27 crore farmers, now the number of farmers has been reduced to just 8.99 crore.
  6. Huge cut in fertiliser subsidy to farmers:
    Rs 2, 25, 220 crore was allocated in 2022-23 but it has been reduced to Rs 1, 75, 100 in this financial year, a direct cut of Rs 50,120 crores.
  7. Damage to cotton farmers
  8. Reduction in the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana funds: Under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Rs 10,433 crores were allocated in the last year's budget, but this time it has been reduced to Rs 7,150 crores in the budget. That means a cut of Rs 3,283 crores has been made.
  9. Cut in budget to minorities’ development: While Rs 5,020 crores were allocated in last year's budget for minorities, this time it was reduced to Rs 3,097 crores in the budget. That means a cut of Rs 1,923 crores has been made.
  10. Unfair FRBM rules: It was said that 0.5 percent FRBM will be allowed only if power reforms are implemented. That is, they said that they should install borehole metres and charge farmers for electricity. It is known that the Telangana Government has already said that it will not install metres. This means that another Rs 6 thousand crore would be a loss to Telangana.
  11. Not following 15th Finance Commission guidelines: Rs 22,908 crore was proposed for urban local bodies in 2022-23 which was reduced to Rs 15,026 crore in 202-23. 11.85 percent i.e. Rs 5,513 crores has been reduced in the budget proposed for rural local bodies. These measures show the central government's belittling of urban and rural institutions. Similarly, a cut of Rs 4,297 crores has been made in the allocation of funds to the health sector from the Finance Commission.
  12. Collecting more taxes and providing less revenue to States: The Center gives only 30.4 percent of the total tax revenue collected by the Center to the States. In fact, according to the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, 41 percent of the taxes collected by the Centre should be given to the states. Due to the imposition of cesses and surcharges, the share of taxes coming to the states is decreasing a lot. Even though it is said to be 41 percent, what is actually received by the States is only 30 percent.
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