Harish Rao to introduce State Budget 2021 today
Hyderabad, March 18: Telangana Finance Minister Harish Rao is going to introduce the state Budget today in the Assembly. According to the reports, it is the highest state budget in the country with Rs 2 lakh crores. The Cabinet meeting gave a green signal to the state budget for 2021-22.
Earlier, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and less revenue, the state government planned to reduce the 20 per cent budget this year but due to an increase in revenue in electric and other departments, the state government planned to introduce the budget with more than Rs 2 lakh crores.
Telangana state continues to be a ‘revenue surplus’ since the formation of the state in 2014. The new Budget size is expected to be between Rs 1.85 lakh crore and Rs 2 lakh crore, which will be the highest-ever for Telangana state against the Rs 1.82 lakh crore budget in 2020-21.
The state government is relying heavily on its own tax revenues and borrowings to meet budgetary targets in 2021-22 rather than depending on central government funds. Funds from the Centre towards tax devolution and other grants witnessed a decline during the past two years.
The government pinned its hopes on GST and VAT to mop up revenues in the new fiscal. Last year (2019-20), the government earned Rs 47,000 crore through GST and VAT. This year (2020-21), it has already netted Rs 46,000 crore till February-end and revenues are expected to cross the Rs 50,000 crore mark for the first time this fiscal (by end March 2021).
During the lockdown period from April-June 2020, the earnings through GST and VAT touched a low of Rs3,000 crore per month. However, the situation improved from September 2020. In November 2020, the government earned Rs 6,876 crore, which was the highest-ever growth rate of 77 per cent.
In December 2020, another Rs 5,812 crore was earned. In January 2021, these earnings were of Rs 5,223 crore and Rs 5,093 crore in February. This is expected to rise further by this March-end as the government had roped in 400 special teams to recover GST, VAT dues from defaulters to realise the cent per cent collection target.