Centre releases Rs 1269 crore for Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati, Feb 10: Amid political strain between the BJP and its ally TDP over allocation given to the state in the Union Budget 2018, the Centre has released a sum of Rs 1,269 crore to Andhra Pradesh under different heads in the past few days.

The gross grant included Rs 417.44 crore for the Polavaram multipurpose project, one of the issues of contention between the two allies.

“The release (of Rs 417.44 crore) is towards the amount already utilised by the state against the irrigation component (of Polavaram) after April 1, 2014,”  news agency PTI quoted citing an order issued by the Union water resources ministry’s senior joint commissioner, R P S Verma, said.

So far Modi led- Centre allocated Rs 4,329 crore for the project through the Polavaram Project Authority.

In contrary to this the state government said it spent more than Rs 7,200 crore after it was declared a national project.

Last month, Andhra Pradesh finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu had submitted a memorandum to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stating that a sum of Rs 3,217.63 crore, spent on Polavaram, was yet to be reimbursed to the state. Of this, the Centre has now released Rs 417.44 crore, an official of the water resources department here asserted.

Meanwhile, the Central government, also released Rs 369.16 crore last night under post-devolution revenue deficit grant, following the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, to AP.

The Centre directed that the accounts of the scheme “shall be maintained properly and separately” and submitted as and when required.

“They shall be open to inspection by an officer deputed by the Government of India or the state government,” an under-secretary at the Centre said in the release order.

Apart from this, the Centre also released Rs 253.74 crore as ‘basic grant’ to urban local bodies in the state. This was the second installment during the current fiscal.

For the anganwadi services scheme and the supplementary nutrition programme, a sum of Rs 196.92 crore has been allocated. While another Rs 31.76 crore was released for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, a state official revealed.

The TDP was not unhappy with the Centre over the “raw deal” given to Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget 2018-19.

Upset MPs also staged a protest in Parliament on the issue saying no specific allocations were made to the state. The party was particularly peeved that the Polavaram project was seemingly ignored in the Budget 2018.


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