The Andhra Pradesh Government today held Pre-Budget State Level Conference in Vijayawada, the first of its kind aiming at to introduce zero-based Budget for financial year 2015-16. The Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, ministers, principal secretaries, heads of departments, commissioners and other officials observed participated.
Introducing the session with a review on 6 months into the new government, the Chief Minister stating that the government had started off with a fiscal deficit of nearly Rs16,000 crore, said the new government is attempting to balance welfare, development and finances. 'We need to re-orient our Budget assessing the needs of people. One way could be by taking immediate steps to meet people's needs and the other way could be to increase revenues,' he added.
Stating that officials are accountable for every work they take up, the Chief Minister said that every unit of work should be measured and linked to development. He also suggested that officials should mark their priorities rightly and balance welfare and development in order to create a sustainable economy. Growth percentage of AP in the Q1 and Q2 is 6.94%.
The Chief Minister directed officials to complete distribution of Sankranti Gifts to people by January 11th afternoon. Further, the Chief Minister said that three days are being declared as holidays for Sankranti. For efficient administration, he said that land would be provided for offices for shifting. 'Only skeleton offices could be based in Hyderabad. But, we need to operate from the capital,' he said.
The Chief Minister also suggested integration of sub-sectors into one department. For instance: Marine industry, aquaculture, canals, water usage could be integrated with 'water.' He urged district collectors to compete with each other in development propagating 'Smart Village' program. 'One village should compete with another, one mandal has to compete with another, one district should compete with another,' he added.
The Chief Minister told officials that AP is poised to become a logistics hub for South East Asia. 'We are the central point on the East Coast,' he explained. All the development activities in our state should be result-oriented, he said.
According to the Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu the meeting's focus is to manage finances efficiently in the state. 'Keeping a vigil on financial constraints, we need to ensure that allocations for public welfare schemes are not brought down,' the finance minister said. He stressed the need to to scrutinize every scheme and the results of each scheme will be analyzed. This means budget will be allocated based on the success rate.
Stating that the government has to achieve fiscal prudence, we need to balance development and welfare of the state, he explained. Given that the government's coffers are falling empty, the finance minister said there is a need to set up mechanisms to generate revenues. 'The government wants to improve capital expenditure and bring down the revenue expenditure in order to reduce the burden on the state exchequer,' the finance minister said.