VIJAYAWADA: Finding the going tough with support from the Centre coming in trickles, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday sought relaxation in the limit set by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act to go in for borrowings. The Chief Minister, reacting to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the private member’s bill moved by Congress MP KVP Ramachandra Rao for special category status to AP, said, “How can I mobilise finances? I have a lot of work on my hands. I need to get money from one source or the other. Let the Centre relax the FRBM norms for AP.”
Naidu’s appeal came at a time when a committee has been constituted to examine the feasibility of having a fiscal deficit range in place of existing fixed numbers as percentage of GDP. The FRBM Act was enacted in 2003 to institutionalise financial discipline, reduce fiscal deficit, improve macroeconomic management and the overall management of public funds. The Chief Minister, reiterating his call for early fulfillment of all the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, said it was not only the responsibility of the Centre but also the parties, which had supported division of the state, to come to the rescue of Andhra Pradesh.
“I not only want special category status but also everything that has been promised to the state. I will continue to bring pressure on the Centre while moving forward with whatever financial resources I have,” he said, at a news conference here.
Naidu appeared unhappy over the way the Polavaram project is being funded. “It is a national project. But money comes in fits and starts from the Centre. Several companies have stationed equipment at the site. If they work, I have to pay. If I don’t pay, work gets stalled. I have to fulfil my commitment to the people that I would get Polavaram phase I ready by 2018,” Naidu said.
He, however, did not say he would adopt a confrontationist attitude towards the Centre. “What I want is that the Centre should understand our plight,” he said.