Andhra Pradesh presents Rs.1.61 lakh crore budget

Hyderabad, March 18 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Monday presented a tax-free, revenue-surplus budget for 2013-14 with an overall expenditure of over Rs.1.61 lakh crore (nearly $30 billion).

Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy told the assembly during his budget speech that the overall expenditure during 2013-14 would be Rs.1,61,348 crore, comprising Rs.1,01,926 crore under non-plan and Rs.59,422 crore under plan heads.

Presenting his third budget, Ramanarayana Reddy said he estimated the revenue surplus would be Rs.10,023 crore and fiscal deficit Rs.24,487 crore, at 2.85 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

"I am confident that the budget 2013-14 will infuse new energy to the strategy of inclusive growth of the state," he said.

He described the budget as momentous, as allocations enshrine the priority agenda of inclusiveness.

It is the first budget after the state enacted a historic legislation in December last year to give statutory status to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribe sub-plan.

Under this legislation, the first in the country, funds have been allocated separately to SC sub-plan and ST sub-plan in proportion to the population of these sections.

The total allocation for SC sub-plan in 2013-14 budget is Rs.8,585 crore and for the tribal sub-plan Rs.3,666 crore, which is 16.21 and 6.92 percent of the annual plan size respectively.

The finance minister said another path-breaking feature of this year's budget is the presentation of the first-ever exclusive agriculture action plan, which is expected to help in comprehensive development of the agriculture sector.

Another change brought in the budget presentation this year is the constitution of departmentally related standing committees of the state legislature for considering the demands for grants.

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