The central government has agreed to extend a three-phase financial package to Andhra Pradesh after the conclusion of the monsoon session of Parliament. Officials of the Union finance ministry are busy preparing a list of items to be included in the final package that will be announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley .
Top sources in the NDA government disclosed that the list includes compensation for revenue loss in the year 2014-15, increase in deficit financing fund and funds for backward districts, special grants and reimbursement of expenditure on Polavaram project. The package is worth about Rs 10,000 crore.
Similar packages will be extended to the state for two more years (2017-18 and 201819), they added.
The package will, however, not talk about the special category status sought by all political parties in the state. This, despite the fact that CM Chandrababu Naidu has demanded that people of AP will not agree for anything less than special categorytag.
“The package is under finalization by the Union finance ministry. We have been insisting on a huge financial help from the Centre without compromising on the special category status. We have been informed that most of the promises would be fulfilled through the package,“ YS Chowdary, Union minister of state for science and technology, said.
The AP finance department has received indications that the Centre would sanction Rs 4,500 crore to bridge the revenue gap for the year 2014-15. Though the state government has been demanding Rs 16,328 crore under this head, the Centre has trimmed the amount to Rs 8,400 crore. Of this, Rs 3,003 crore has already been released. Similarly, the state will get Rs 1,000 crore under increased deficit financing formula and Rs 350 crore as additional annual assistance for the development of the seven backward districts of north coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
The AP Reorganisation Act sanctioned separate funds for the development of backward states and AP has demanded that the quantum of assistance be doubled.
“In all, we are expecting a massive financial assistance from the Centre in the current financial year. Apart from this, we have sought complete reimbursement of expenditure on Polavaram which will enable us to expedite the major irrigation project,“ said PV Ramesh, special chief secretary and development commissioner.
The Centre sanctioned Rs 2,000 crore for the construction of the state capital in the last two years. The special package will also include assistance for Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada metro rail projects. The state government has to spend Rs 5,500 crore to create infrastructure in the core capital area.