The Andhra Pradesh government today presented its budget for the financial year 2017-18 giving education and rural development a major share of funds and also making provision of assistance to unemployed youth.
State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu also included a “gender budget”, in his presentation of the annual financial statement in the AP Legislative Assembly.
Yanamala presented the budget with a proposed expenditure of Rs 1,56,999 crore, which is an increase of about 15.70 per cent over the budget for 2016-17.
He said the state government has made a provision of Rs 500 crore as “assistance” to unemployed youth.
However, he did not specify whether it was the anticipated unemployment allowance.
He made a provision of Rs 20,384 crore for general education and Rs 765 crore for technical education.
He gave Rs 19,565 crore for rural development and Rs 12,770 crore for irrigation and flood control.
The welfare also got a major share at Rs 11,361 crore while health care got Rs 7,020 crore. Agriculture and allied sectors got Rs 9,090 crore.
While the shifting of AP’s capital to Amaravati (from Hyderabad) and demonetisation move put “tremendous stress” on the state’s economy in 2016-17, the migration to GST regime from July 1, 2017 could negatively impact growth of state resources in short term, Yanamala said in his budget speech.
From this year on, the state government has done away with the plan and non-plan classification in the annual budget and instead made it revenue and capital expenditures.
The Finance Minister called it a “significant structural reform”.
“Not only it is a constitutional requirement but also one in tune with international best practice and an essential ingredient for policy formulation and efficient resource allocation,” he noted.
Accordingly, a provision of Rs 1,25,912 crore has been made for revenue expenditure and Rs 31,087 crore for capital expenditure, including Rs 8,009 crore towards principal repayment of public debt.
The state’s revenue deficit in 2017-18 is estimated to be around Rs 416 crore (0.05 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product) and fiscal deficit of Rs 23,054 crore (3.0 per cent).
The state also included a “gender budget” this time.
“The objective is to save women and girls from discrimination and neglect in matters of development, progress, security and human rights,” Yanamala said.
“Gender budgeting is a process of incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process, assessing the needs of target groups and allocating resources,” he said.
“The government will undertake a comprehensive set of actions to improve the lives of women across all human development indicators,” he said in his budget speech.
(With inputs from PTI)