TIRUPATI: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday submitted a wish list to the 14th Finance Commission which includes a special package for Andhra Pradesh, debt relief of Rs 10,400 crore and a special grant of Rs 1,00,213 crore to help the State build a new capital near Vijayawada.
In his near 45-minute power-point presentation to the five-member panel led by former RBI governor Y V Reddy here, Naidu said, “Keeping in view Section 46 (1) of the Presidential Reference to the Commission, AP may be treated as distinct from other States and a special package be awarded to mitigate the hardships caused by the AP Reorganisation Act.”
Outlining his ambitious target of placing AP among the top three states by 2022 and as numer uno by 2029, he explained that the State would need Rs 4 lakh crore to build a world-class capital. For this, he sought the Finance Commission to recommend a special grant of Rs 1,00,213 crore for the State during the next five years besides an additional grant of Rs 41,253 crore for backward regions, Rayalaseema and north coastal AP, plus fiscal incentives to promote industrialization.
Presenting an action-plan involving seven missions, five campaigns and development of five grids, the Chief Minister reiterated the demand for special category status to AP for five years - something that is promised in the AP Reorganisation Act but opposed vehemently by the neigbhouring Tamil Nadu government. Claiming that AP has got a raw deal during bifurcation, Naidu said the new State was staring at a revenue deficit of Rs 15,691 crore within 10 months since its formation on June 2 this year. He urged the panel to evolve a formula by which surplus is left to meet the State’s development commitments. “Considering our special requirements and the need to raise capital resources to relocate the facilities to our new capital, we may be allowed to have a fiscal deficit of 7 per cent for the next five years. Without this facility, it will be extremely difficult to create basic facilities in our new capital,” he stressed.
He further explained to the panel that the State was in a structurally untenable position, which is not of its own making. “We urge the Commission to recognize this as a special problem of the State requiring their support. We projected a requirement of Rs 1.30 lakh crore for the creation of a capital with appropriate support infrastructure,” he appealed.