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Rs. 31,000 crore proposed for irrigation in budget(thehindu)

Creation of 21 new districts places additional burden on the budget

Irrigation sector with Rs 31,000 crore will take away the lion’s share of the budget proposed by various government departments for 2017-18. Thursday is the last day for online submission of proposals by the departments.

The budget approved for irrigation in 2016-17 was Rs 25,000 crore, including Rs 7,861 crore for Palamuru - Ranga Reddy and Rs 6,286 crore for Kaleswaram project. This time, the trend was reversed as a sum of Rs 11,000 crore was sought for Kaleswaram and Rs 6,000 crore for Palamuru - Ranga Reddy. There was no change in the budget of Rs 2,500 crore for minor irrigation which includes Mission Kakatiya programme of de-silting tanks.

By proposing Rs 31,000 crore, the government has gone a step ahead of its plan to allot Rs 25,000 crore each year from 2016-17 to 2018-19, aggregating to Rs 75,000 crore for irrigation.

Demonetisation factor

The finance officials have estimated the resources of the State government in the coming year, factoring in demonetisation. Based on proposals from departments, they will from Friday estimate committed expenditure on establishment maintenance, interest on borrowings and payment of principal on loans.

The total amount of these will be deducted from resources to arrive at the money to be spent on over 150 schemes of the government, sources said.

The budget estimates this year are to be prepared on the lines of revenue and capital expenditure because the Central government has discontinued budget classification of plan and non-plan expenditure. The SC/ST sub-plan will be implemented by earmarking specified percentage of funds, scheme-wise. There will be no change in percentages from last year. The creation of 21 new districts which will increase establishment charges will be an additional burden on the budget.

Sources added that the government has warned all the departments that any changes made in the estimates after expiry of the deadline on January 12 will not be reflected in the proposals to be presented to the Assembly.

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