Hyderabad, March 12, 2015 (Agencies) MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi has given a balance reaction on the Telangana's budget for the financial year 2015-16.

While expressing satisfaction over allocation of funds for major sectors, he expressed fears that the State Government might increase various taxes to generate more revenues. "In the wake of lesser transfers from the Central Government, the Finance Minister has indicated that he would mobilise additional revenues of Rs 19,237 crores during 2015-16 by effecting increases in the tax rates and service charges under the State tax and non-tax revenues. The increases are very steep in the collection of VAT (Rs 8,500 crores), State Excise (Rs 1,093 crores). Motor Vehicle Tax (Rs 273 crores), other taxes and duties (Rs 200 crores), and Non-Tax revenues (Rs 9,171 crores). Power tariff hike is also on the cards from the next financial year," he said.

Akbaruddin Owaisi said that this was a matter of great concern because Telangana is already the State with the highest quantum of taxation under various categories. "The people are already suffering due to the spiralling rise in the prices of essential commodities and other goods and services. The Central government has also hike the rate of service tax from the new financial year. The people in the State cannot bear additional tax and non-tax burden of Rs 19,237 crores through further hikes in the existing state taxes and non-tax revenues," he said.

"The Finance Minister has raised the allocations for the welfare of SCs, STs, BCs and Minorities and SC/ST sub-plans. Minorities welfare has been allocated Rs 1,105 crores under plan and non-plan next year and this marks an increase of Rs 72 crores (or just about 7 percent) over the budgetary allocations of Rs 1,033 crores this year, though the actual releases of funds so far in 2014-15 is only Rs 437 crores," he said.

The allocations for most of the minority schemes (scholarships, subsidy for bankable schemes, residential schools and hostels, Urdu ghars, socio-economic studies and Shaadi Mubarak) and minority-related institutions (Christian and Minorities Finance Corporations, Wakf Board, Haj Committee, Centre for Educational Development of Minorities, Dairatul Maarif, Urdu Academy and Survey Commissioner) have been retained at current year’s levels in the forthcoming budget. The allocations for construction of buildings for hostels and residential schools have been raised from Rs 1.65 crores to Rs 71.65 crores. An allocation of Rs 25 crores has been earmarked for a new scheme for overseas study for minority students. However, the allocation for reimbursement of tuition fees has been reduced from Rs 450 crores to Rs 425 crores. The mass marriages scheme, for which Rs 5 crores was allocated in the current year, has been scrapped, he said.

The MIM leader expressed dissatisfaction over the allocations for Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority. He said the funds for QQSUDA have been raised to only Rs 13.33 crores, which is sufficient to pay the salaries of its staff. The allocation for QQSUDA should have been hiked to atleast Rs 100 crores, he said.

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