VIJAYAWADA: Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s multiple remonstrations to M/s Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitely and M Venkaiah Naidu and his party’s protests in Parliament have fetched a devolution of Rs 1,976.5 crore from the Centre to the state.
However, the Andhra Pradesh government said this is way too short of its expectations.
The chief minister was expecting a big, fat goodie bag from the Centtre, even if special category status for Andhra Pradesh is all but ruled out. So the Centre’s announcement of a sum of Rs 1,976 crore came as a downer to the chief minister.
When he spoke to reporters here on Thursday, Chandrababu Naidu sounded weary that his exertions had yielded so little. He minced no words: “It is very meagre. The Centre should have been more generous. Andhra Pradesh is yet to recover from the pangs of bifurcation. The Centre is bound to honour the commitments it made to the State at the time of division.”
This pittance, Naidu pointed out, would not hold a candle before the package sanctioned to Bundelkhand. Naidu also let out his bottled up emotions, saying that the Centre was being callous to the needs of the state.
“The Centre should take the initiative to resolve the problems of the two Telugu states. Despite Supreme Court orders, the issue pertaining to the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) remains unresolved. The same is the case with the Polavaram project. Let the Centre help us. If Polvaaram is in place, the state would be a in position to help other states to draw more water from the Godavari,” Naidu said.
The central government, describing the grant as special assistance, said it is meant to compensate Andhra Pradesh for the financial impact of the bifurcation of the state.
The Centre has so far sanctioned a total of 8,379.5 crore to Andhra Pradesh since the bifurcation in 2014.
This included Rs 3,979.5 crore to bridge the resource gap for the financial year 2014-15 and Rs 1,050 crore -- at the rate of Rs 50 crore per district -- for the development of seven backward districts in Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra.
For the construction of a new capital city, a sum of Rs 2,500 crore has been provided so far, while the Union Urban Development Ministry has released Rs 1,000 crore for sewerage and drainage schemes in Guntur and Vijayawada and Rs 850 crore for Polavaram.