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Will Union Budget continue to disappoint Telangana?

Ahead of the union Budget 2022-23 too, the State govt had made requests pertaining to nearly 35 issues including assurances given under the AP Reorganisation Act.

Updated On – 11:22 PM, Wed – 25 January 23

Will Union Budget continue to disappoint Telangana?

Hyderabad: For the last few years, the Union Budget has been a consistent disappointment for Telangana, with no specific announcements for the State.

It is not just that none of the promises made under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act were fulfilled even after nine union Budgets. The State government’s requests for various infrastructure and development projects too have been repeatedly ignored.

Ahead of the union Budget 2022-23 too, the State government had made requests pertaining to nearly 35 issues including assurances given under the AP Reorganisation Act. As usual, there has been no response from the Centre.

Due to the Centre’s apathy, Telangana‘s hopes for a tribal university in Mulugu, a steel plant at Bayyaram and a railway coach factory at Kazipet among others, which were all assured under the Reorganisation Act, have been watered down.

In the last nine years, the Centre did not sanction any major educational institutions of national prominence including an IIM, NID, IISER, Navodaya and Kendriya Vidyalayas among others, which the State had requested for.

The requests for budgetary support for development of industrial corridors, Information Technology Investment Region, Hyderabad Pharma City, Mega Handloom/Powerloom Cluster, Mega Textile Park and other industrial infrastructure development projects, have been gathering dust in various departments of the Centre.

Except for the Regional Ring Road proposed by the State government and highway expansion/connectivity projects which mainly cater to other States, none of the infrastructure development projects have been approved by the Centre.

The Centre has remained unresponsive to requests for release of dues of GST compensation and IGST settlement. The State government is yet to receive funds amounting to more than Rs.10,000 crore pending with the Centre, including release of dues pertaining GST compensation and IGST settlement.

The State is yet to receive the special grant of Rs.723 crore awarded by the 15th Finance Commission towards decline in tax devolution, as is the case with the Rs.965.52 crore under 14th Finance Commission to rural and urban local bodies as well.

Further, the request for transfer of dues amounting to Rs.495 crore towards Centrally Sponsored Schemes inadvertently released to Andhra Pradesh in 2014-15, too has been ignored repeatedly.

Similarly, there has been no action on electricity dues pending from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana.

Instead, the Centre directed Telangana to clear dues pending to Andhra Pradesh, with a threat of action against the State being made if it did not do so. A special assistance of Rs.900 crore for backward districts under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, also has not been released.

Though it was anticipated that certain projects like the river inter-linking projects would benefit the State, there has been no major progress witnessed with regard to inter-linking of Godavari and Krishna Rivers.

While Telangana has been insisting with the Centre to resolve the water dispute of Krishna River between Telangana and AP before taking up river inter-linking projects, the Centre has not made any efforts in this regards.

Whether the forthcoming union Budget will be any different remains to be seen.

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