AP FM presents highest-ever over Rs one lakh cr budget

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Hyderabad, Feb 16 (UNI) Accelerating the Congress Government's thrust for irrigation and INDIRAMMA housing programme and introducing Rs 2-a-kg rice scheme, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister K Rosaiah today presented a tax-free 'record' of Rs 1,00,436.55 crore budget for fiscal 2008-09, projecting a revenue surplus of Rs 709 crore and a net surplus of Rs 139 crore.

Presenting his fourth consecutive budget, Mr Rosaiah said the plan expenditure up Rs 48,551 crore and the non-plan at Rs 51,885 crore, the financial year 2008-09 was expected to end with a cash balance of Rs 120 crore as against a negative balance of Rs 281 crore in 2006-07.

Though the revised 2007-08 estimate of revenue surplus would be Rs 451 crore, down from a revenue surplus of Rs 2,807 crore in 2006-07 and against the budgeted revenue deficit in 2007-08 of Rs 36 crore, the year 2007-08 is estimated to have a net surplus of Rs 267 crore.

''After taking into account the opening negative balance of Rs 281 crore, the year-end balance is estimated to be negative at Rs 14 crore,'' he said.

Asserting that estimated revenue surplus would be 0.2 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), he maintained that the estimated fiscal deficit of Rs 9,657 crore would be only 2.82 per cent of the GSDP against the permitted three per cent.

He announced enhancement of food subsidy to Rs 1,980 crore to provide rice at a mere Rs 2 a kilo to 80 per cent of the population who hold 'white ration cards.' MORE UNI SM/DB VA ROY BDP RS1548

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