The budgetary trends of four southern states for 2013-14 reveal that the states are able to maintain fiscal discipline in spite of the overall economic downturn. All the four states are able to contain their fiscal deficits within the limit of 3 per cent of their GSDP.
Revenue mobilsation efforts
The budgets show that all the states are reluctant to levy any new taxes or increase the rates of existing taxes. Only Kerala has attempted to increase the rates of some taxes along with few tax concessions. In fact, by way of rationalization, others have reduced some of the tax rates.
Tamil Nadu: focus on agriculture, infrastructure and social welfare
In the infrastructure front, Pudu Vazhvu project, to eradicate rural poverty will cover an additional 110 blocks with an outlay of Rs.450 crore. State skills development mission fund has been increased from Rs.75 crore to Rs.100 crore. An allocation of Rs.2000 crore for the Infrastructure Development Fund and Rs.200 crore for the Project Preparation Fund have been made. A sum of Rs. 2032 crore has been earmarked for comprehensive road infrastructure development programme.
Agriculture allocation has been increased Rs.5189.15 crore. Animal Husbandry gets highest allocation of Rs. 1082.64 crore compared to previous years.
As a pioneering state in Public Distribution System, an allocation of Rs.4900 crore has been provided for food subsidy in 2013-14. There is a proposal to sell rice at Rs.20 per kg., through cooperative outlets to control the price of rice.
A special package of incentives is awarded to investments in industrially backward districts of Tamil Nadu. Similarly a special package is to be announced soon to stimulate MSME in the state.
In the health front, Tamil Nadu has always stayed ahead and Chennai is termed as medical Mecca for the huge footfall of medical tourists it attracts. Apart from this the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme ensures health coverage to about four crore of the state and allocations have been increased from Rs.623.58 crore to Rs. 750 crore. For health and family welfare a total allocation of Rs.6511.76 crore has been made in the budget.
Education is the forte of the state, among all departments, the highest allocation has been made for school education with Rs.16,965.30 crore.
A slew of freebies intended to liberate women from the drudgery of household work is planned at Rs.1500 crore by distribution of free 35 lakh mixies, grinders and fans.
Andhra Pradesh: human resource development and social welfare
Agriculture and allied sector gets an allocation of Rs.6128 crore in the budget for 2013-14.
A sum of Rs.3231 crore is proposed for distribution of nine essential food items through civil supplies department.
The flagship programme Indiramma housing to provide decent houses to rural and urban poor gets an allocation of Rs.2326 crore. Towards urban development, a provision of Rs.6770crore is made in the budget.
More allocation has been made in the budget to school education with Rs. 16,990 crore, higher education Rs. 4082 crore and health Rs.6481 crore in order to improve the quality of human resources in the state.
In the area of infrastructure, a provision of Rs.5451 crore has been made in the budget for roads, bridges and transport sector.
Karnataka: rural development, education and social welfare
Agriculture gets an allocation of Rs.3091 crore Farmers’ loan waiver scheme gets an allocation of Rs.1521 crore.
A total allocation of Rs.10,831 crore is made in the budget for the energy sector.
Roads and building sector gets an allocation of Rs.5321 crore. Towards urban development including improving urban infrastructure a provision of Rs.9654 crore has been made along with Rs. 1288 crore for transport: a total outlay of Rs.7354 crore has been made for rural development and panchayat raj.
School education gets an outlay of Rs.15,599 crore; higher education has been provided with Rs.3067 crore; health and family welfare has been allotted with a sum of Rs.4027 crore.
An allocation of Rs.1200 crore has been made for housing.
The information technology hub has allocated Rs.135 crore.
Kerala: urban development, infrastructure and agriculture
In the Budget for 2013-14, agriculture and allied sectors get an allocation of Rs.1494.74 crore.
To write off interest burden of small farmers Rs.50 crore has been allocated; a sum of Rs.30 crore towards interest free agricultural loan to small and marginal farmers.
An allocation of Rs.1130.40 crore has been proposed for urban development. Rs.581.14 crore has been made for school and higher education. With an additional Rs.141.62 crore for science, technology and environment.
Rs.541 crore is provided in the budget for health sector with emphasis on infrastructure development of hospitals, immunisation programmes and health education to accomplish the objective “health for all.” Integrated health programme gets an allocation of Rs.70 crore; modernisation of cancer hospital Rs.5 crore.
For infrastructure development Rs.846 crore; for solar energy and rainwater harvesting Rs.35 crore; interest remission on educational loans Rs.25 crore; pension for workers under employment guarantee scheme Rs.20 crore.
Professional education scholarship for economically backward among forward communities have also been mapped out.