Centre Rejects Andhra Pradesh’s Plea for More Funds
After administering the first shock in the form of politely rejecting State’s plea for special category status to the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh, the BJP-led NDA government at Centre has given yet another blow to the state.
Revealing the secret in no uncertain terms, the Centre on Wednesday stated that it cannot fund the State to overcome its revenue deficit, thus creating a sort of uncomfortable situation for Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is already facing political heat in the form of protests being undertaken by opposition parties.
The Centre made this statement at a time when Naidu was claiming that the Union government was not lending a helping hand to cash-starved reorganised AP, which had begun its journey with Rs 16,000 crore revenue deficit.
In the same breath, the Union government for one-more time categorically stated that special status was not possible for the residuary AP.
Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha stated all these things in a written reply to a question posed by TDP MP Avanti Srinivas (Anakapalle) in Lok Sabha.
The Union minister said the Centre was taking all steps to fulfil promises made to AP as per the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. However, neither the special status issue nor the issue of bridging revenue gap was not mentioned in the Act, he added.
He made this statement exactly a week after Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary’s clear-cut announcement on the issue of special status.
Moreover, as per the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations, special status cannot be given to any State including Andhra Pradesh. There was no immediate proposal to amend relevant laws to give special status to AP, he added.
The minister said all the allocations specified in the bifurcation act were being given to AP, based on the recommendations of the NITI Aayog. As per the provisions of Reorganisation Act, AP would get special package, he stated.
Following this, TDP MP Galla Jayadev (Guntur), while speaking on behalf of his party in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, expressed severe displeasure over Centre’s reply, saying, “If the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself during elections, are not fulfilled, how could people of the country trust his words on any issue?” He, then, demanded Centre to implement all promises given to the State.
On the other hand, opposition parties such as Congress began cornering the TDP over this issue.