Naidu presents wish list to Modi

Finance Politics
(Last Updated On: May 18, 2016)

naidu and modiReiterating the request for according Special Category Status to the State, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has said the coveted status will go a long way in providing a level-playing field for the new State to compete with its neighbours.

The State was lagging in terms of tax and non-tax revenues, per capita income and other parameters due to the unilateral manner in which A.P. was bifurcated by the Congress-led UPA government. It needs the Central government’s liberal assistance to overcome the problems that cropped up post bifurcation and achieve accelerated growth, Mr. Naidu told Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his hour-long meeting with the latter in New Delhi on Tuesday.

At a media conference later, Mr. Naidu recalled that the Prime Minister too promised to grant SCS to the State during the pre-election meetings he addressed in Visakhapatnam and Tirupati. “We have not sought bifurcation. Why should the State be punished for no fault of it?” he asked.

Revenue deficit

The Chief Minister said he explained to the Prime Minister the problems faced by the State post bifurcation. He said the State commenced its journey with a huge revenue deficit in excess of Rs. 15,690 crore in 2014-15, the first year of its formation, which was confirmed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

The Center, however, had released a little over Rs. 2,200 crore till date in spite of the assurance of bridging the entire revenue deficit at the time of bifurcation. The revenue deficit was expected to continue for the next five years even after enhancing devolutions under the 14{+t}{+h}Finance Commission and it was likely to be around Rs. 2,499 crore at the end of the tenure of the Finance Commission.

Replying to queries, he said the Prime Minister gave a patient hearing to the problems faced by the State and promised that a mechanism would be evolved soon to address the concerns raised by Andhra Pradesh.

“The Centre has the responsibility to help the State like it does to other States and Mr. Modi promised to look into the matter positively,” he said.

“In the neighbouring States like Telangana and Tamil Nadu, their capitals contribute much of the revenues. Andhra Pradesh, without a capital, is devoid of such economic activity. The State has therefore asked the Centre to liberally assist the State in developing its capital abuzz with economic activity,” he said.

Structural defects in State’s economy

Mr. Naidu, who met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, later said he had explained about the structural defects in the State’s economy that arose due to the unscientific approach of the UPA government in dividing the State. He said he had requested the Prime Minister to ensure periodic release of funds for premier institutions like the IIT, IIM and IISER.

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