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Budget 2022: Telugu states sidetracked; get a raw deal

Even as Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made some key announcements on Cryptocurrency and surprised the community by legalising it, the revised gross tax revenue, according to the numbers, is expected to be at ₹25.16 trillion against the budgeted ₹22.17 trillion, a jump of 13.5%. 
 
Gross tax revenue is the total tax that the central government earns through different kinds of taxes like personal income tax, corporate income tax, goods and services tax, union excise duties and more. A portion of these taxes is shared with the state governments and what remains is the net tax revenue of the central government. 
 
The revised net tax revenue for 2021-22 is at ₹17.65 trillion against the budgeted ₹15.45 trillion. This increase has helped maintain the fiscal deficit at 6.9% of the GDP despite the higher expenditure.. The government of India’s total expenditure has been increased by 4.8 percent to Rs 39.5 lakh crore. Through the Reserve Bank of India, the GoI will roll out digital rupee in 2022-23.
 
However, this budget has disappointed the Telugu states massively. There was no mention of any notable project to the Telugu states. Commenting on this, Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhara Rao criticised the union budget calling it a ‘Directionless’ budget. 
 
He is heard to have said: “This budget doesn’t fulfill the aspirations of the common man. The income tax slabs remained unchanged, thereby upsetting the employees. Small time businesses are not given any support while the budget allocations for health and agriculture sectors are zero. Health sector strained a lot during the pandemic time but the GoI did not lay any steps towards strengthening and improving it.”
 
Meanwhile, YSRCP is yet to comment on the Budget but the left parties  and the TDP have reacted and slammed the BJP for giving the state a raw deal. “The new Andhra Pradesh needs a lot of support from the Centre but sadly there was nothing that the state garnered,” said one leader. 
 
The government of Andhra Pradesh is supporting the BJP with its strength in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Therefore, it is in a bargaining position with respect to seeking investments for the state along with new projects. But, the fact that Andhra Pradesh as well as Telangana have completely been side-tracked also indicate that there’s no interest for the BJP in the Telugu states. On the other hand, more importance has been given to those states who will be going to elections this year. 
 
While the South always gets a raw deal despite contributing the highest to the country’s GDP, it looks like we will always be treated like the undeserving sibling. And, this is something that AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy should negotiate for, when meeting the Prime Minister and seeking his appointments for all the unnecessary political chaos the party creates in the state. 
 

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