The government to present vote-on-account budget on March 11

Reasserting the government’s commitment, Finance and Planning Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy said that sufficient allocations would be made in the 2013-14 budget to speed up 48 ongoing irrigation projects and create 30 lakh acres additional ayacut by March, 2014.

The Minister said that there were many issues like pending works in some projects, need for land acquisition and forest clearances in respect of others. Also, there was a plea for increasing allocations for these projects in view of the increased prices of materials. The Group of Ministers was looking into this issue and a decision has been awaited.

Addressing a press conference in Nellore on Sunday, Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy said that all efforts would be made to balance the capital and revenue expenditures in the next budget.

The government would present the vote-on-account budget on March 11 while the full budget would be tabled in the House for discussion in April and May.

Stating that the vote-on-account would be opted usually during elections, Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy said that this time, the reason was the introduction of the innovative concept of appointing 10 standing committees to discuss the demands and make suggestions. It was thought useful as the 18 days allotted for discussion on demands in the House were going waste without useful debate for various reasons for which nobody could be blamed, he added.

The Minister said that the standing committees were already functioning in the Parliament round the year and it has to be seen whether these committees would prove effective in the State. Similar concept was already there in several other states.

On the issue of the file returned by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy said that technical and judicial advice was being taken as it pertained to the decision taken by the Cabinet denying permission for the prosecution of Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao. The file was sent to the advocate general and law department secretary and a decision would be made at an appropriate time.

Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy said that the Congress party would take a decision after making consultations within the party on the contentious issue of Telangana statehood ahead of the December 28 meeting called by the Union Home Ministry. He asserted that their party’s decisions on such matters would not be influenced by the threats and statements being issued by rival parties.