HYDERABAD: Cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh government has decided to spend a whopping Rs 40 lakh for hosting the members of the 14th Finance Commission headed by Y Venugopal Reddy during their three-day visit to the State, beginning on Thursday.
As the recommendations of the commission to the President of India with regard to devolution of funds to various States would play a key role for the truncated State in getting monetary help from the Centre for the next five financial years (from 2015-16 to 2019-20), the State government seems to have decided to be “generous and lavish” while treating the panel members as guests.
Hence, the State government appears to have decided to spend Rs 40,90,074 for the two nights and one-day stay of the members of the commission in Tirupati.
Strengthening this, the State government issued a GO on Thursday stating that Chittoor District Collector had informed the government that the arrangement for stay of the members of the commission and also for their meetings were made at Hotel Fortune, Grand Ridge at Tirupati. For this, an amount of Rs 40,90,074 was estimated as the cost.
“Chittoor District Collector was requested to provide suitable accommodation, transport and other facilities to the chairman and other members of the 14th Finance Commission during their visit to Tirupati from 11.09.2014 to 13.09.2014, as per protocol,” the government stated in the GO.
The Collector requested the government to sanction an amount of Rs 30,00,000 as an advance. In the wake of the Collector’s request, the government on Thursday issued another GO sanctioning Rs 25 lakh as advance.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, when he makes a power-point presentation to the 14th Finance Commission in Tirupati on Friday, is expected to focus his attention on getting about Rs 12,000 crore the State government owes to the Centre written off. Thus, Naidu wants to use this opportunity to mobilise financial resources for implementing the crop loan waiver scheme.
Naidu is further expected to make a strong case for grant of more funds under special grants to the State, besides requesting the panel to recommend to the Centre to lend a helping hand to AP for building a new capital, expected to cost Rs 1.31 lakh crore.
Though AP CM Naidu
is time and again saying that the State is left with empty coffers following bifurcation, his government has been on a spending spree ever since it assumed office
For instance, Naidu took oath as the CM of reorganised State at an extravagant ceremony
After that, the cash-starved government gave a quantum jump in the house rent allowances of the Chief Minister and his colleagues from
Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 per month
Later, the State government spent lakhs of rupees on training classes for first-time MLAs at a five-star hotel in Hyderabad
Now, the government has decided to spend
Rs 40 lakh
for hosting the members of the 14th Finance Commission.
YV Reddy Heads Panel
Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Y Venugopal Reddy is the chairman of the 14th Finance Commission. Members are- Prof Abhijit Sen (member of the Planning Commission), Sushama Nath (former Union Finance Secretary), M Govinda Rao (Director, National Institute for Public Finance and Policy) and Sudipto Mundle (former acting Chairman, National Statistical Commission).
Schedule of Finance Commission
The 14th Finance Commission, headed by YV Reddy, Andhra Cadre IAS officer, arrived in Tirupati on Thursday evening. On Friday, Accountant General will make a presentation on State finances to the panel. After that Naidu will interact with the members. Later, Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu will deliver welcome address, this will be followed by keynote address by the Chief Minister. Later, commission members will interact with the CM and others. In the afternoon, the commission will interact with representatives of trade unions, industry, local bodies and political parties. The commission would leave Tirupati for Delhi on Saturday morning. The five-member panel is expected to submit its report to the President of India by October 31.