Telangana CM orders interim review of budget in view of Covid

Hyderabad, Oct 23 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday directed officials to undertake an interim review of the state’s budget for 2020-2021, as there was a major cut in funds from the Centre following the coronavirus pandemic.

He asked the officials to review the entire state budget and submit a report to the government in this regard.

The Chief Minister said the state’s revenue dropped drastically due to the lockdown imposed following the outbreak of the disease, and there was a cut in funds from the Centre.

“The GDP has fallen by 24 percent. This had a major impact on the states. Under these circumstances, we have to prepare estimates on how much funds are actually available and how much funds can be allocated to the departments should be decided,” he said.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, also asked the officials concerned to change the existing method of Dearness Allowance (DA) for government employees, and directed the Finance Department to release one of the three DA installments due from July 1, 2019.

Currently, the Centre is fixing the DA and the states are following the Centre’s guidelines, but there is a lot of delay taking place in the Centre preparing estimates and taking a decision on this, he noted.

“As on date, three DAs are pending. Of this, the Centre is yet to take a decision on two DAs. Due to delay caused by the Centre, the states have no option but to delay the matter. This is leading to accumulation of dues. Employees are not getting their DA on time. This situation should change,” he said.

KCR asked the officials to finalise the DA percentage on time without waiting for the Centre to fix it.

“If necessary, changes should be made after getting the Centre’s estimates. For example, if the state decides to pay 3 per cent DA and if the Centre later fixes it at 3.5 per cent, then pay the rest of 0.5 per cent to the employees. If the Centre decides on 2.5 percent, then deduct 0.5 per cent,” he said.

Asking officials to make proposals in this regard, he said the state Cabinet would discuss the issue and take a decision.

The CM also announced holiday on October 26, the day after Dussehra. He also instructed the officials to prepare a schedule declaring the day after Dussehra as holiday every year.

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