COVID-19 crisis pushes down AP’s revenue shortfall in 2019-20 to whopping Rs.68, 000 crore

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Constrained by the economic slowdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Andhra Pradesh government has pruned its budget estimates for 2020-21 by 1.4 percent.

The budget presented by Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath in the state assembly on Tuesday has proposed an expenditure of Rs.2.24 lakh crore. This marks a decreased of 1.4 percent over the last year, said an Economic Times report.

The budget shows an estimated revenue deficit of Rs18 434 crores and fiscal deficit of Rs48295 crore. The finance minister said that the cut in budget estimates was forced by the major economic slowdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revised estimates for 2019-20 shows a staggering revenue shortfall of Rs 68,000 crore. The state could collect onl Rs 1.10 lakh crore as against the estimated Rs 1.78 lakh crore. However, the Finance Minister has projected a revenue of Rs 1.61 lakh crore in the 2020-21 fiscal.

The state's debt burden increased to Rs 3.02 lakh crore at the end of March 2020,up from Rs 2.59 lakh crore a year ago. In the 2020-21 fiscal, the state's debt is further estimated to shoot up to Rs 3.48 lakh crore.

Earlier Governor Biswa Bushan Harichandran asserted the government’s resolve to develop three capitals for the state in his remote address to the legislatures.

"We are committed to three capitals. Our government fulfilled 40 promises which are not in the manifesto. The government implemented welfare schemes by spending Rs 42,000 crore," the Governor was quoted by Times Now as saying.

He further added that the legal process of three capitals is under process and the state government will develop executive capital at Vishakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool.

Before commencing the Assembly session, the seats in the House and Council were sanitised and arrangements were made for the medical test of all members of the Assembly. All the members were asked to bring minimum staff and visitors were banned from entering the premises. MLAs and MLCs above 60 had the option of not attending the session.

Here are the key points from the budget session:

All mandals will get emergency ambulance. Rs. 470.29 crore has been allocated for the purchase of 1,000 ambulances.

Energy sector gets Rs 6,984 crore, transport: Rs 7,231 crore, general education: Rs 25,201 crore, technical education: Rs 348 crore and rural development: Rs 15,112 crore. The allocation for agriculture is Rs 11,891.20 crore and health Rs.11,419.44 crore.

Image Credit: New Indian Express

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