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AP presents a tax-free budget for 2016-17
March, 12th 2016

Balancing development with social welfare, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu today presented a tax-free budget which has planned an expenditure of ?1,35,689 crore during 2016-17.

While the non-Plan expenditure is pegged at ?86,554 crore, up 10 per cent, the Plan is projected at ?49,134 crore, an increase of about 43 per cent over the revised estimates this fiscal. The Budget for 2016-17 entails an outlay of over 20 per cent over the budget estimates of 2015-16.

Fiscal deficit

The State has projected a revenue deficit to be around ?4,568 crore, at 2.99 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), the fiscal deficit is expected to be ?20,457 crore, 0.71 per cent of GSDP, according to the Finance Minister.

In his 120-minute speech, the third Budget presented after the bifurcation of the State, Ramakrishnudu said, “The Budget will contribute to the growth momentum and ensure a sustained double-digit growth for many years to come. Apart from opening new vistas, it will fuel construction boom, especially housing for the economically and socially weaker sections, infrastructure development and launch of Amaravati capital city.”

Looking to Centre

He said the State was banking on the Centre to extend necessary financial support to develop the Polavaram irrigation project and the new capital city of Amaravati.

The State registered a growth of 10.9 per cent in spite of adversities and the hardship caused due to bifurcation. The Minister hoped the State would strive to ensure a double digit growth on a sustained basis. However, it continues to carry the revenue deficit of ?13,897 crore inherited in 2014-15, as a consequence of “irrational bifurcation.”

Under the debt redemption scheme, the State has disbursed ?7,433 crore to 54.06 lakh accounts benefiting 35.15 lakh farmer families. It is proposed to disburse another ?550 crore for horticulture crops. A provision of ?3,512 crore has been made for further debt redemption.

The services sector constitutes 46.6 per cent of the GDSP and the focus is to expand its contribution to the economy.

The development of the infrastructure, including industrial corridors of Vizag-Chennai, Chennai-Bengaluru and Kurnool-Bengaluru, Peninsular Regional Corridor of Donakonda, Mega Industrial Hub, rail freight corridors, ports and waterways, he hoped would accelerate the growth of the economy.

The setting up of National Investment Manufacturing Zone in Prakasham, on 14,231 acres, is expected to attract ?43,700 crore, and another one proposed at Chittoor is likely to attract ?30,000 crore, he said.

Seed equity for Amaravati

Andhra Pradesh has provided ?1,500 crore for development of the Greenfield capital city of Amaravati towards seed equity of the State government.

This equity contribution would enable the Capital Region Development Authority to mobilise additional resources required for the construction of the capital from the infrastructure financing institutions and the markets. This would be in addition to the assistance from the Centre for capital city works.

The Finance Minister hoped the Centre would provide ?3,500 crore for the construction of Polavaram and ?1,000 crore for Amaravati.

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