VIJAYAWADA: Congress Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao, in a letter sent to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday, advised him to get Rs 27,571.21 crore additional assistance under Central Sponsored Schemes (CSS) between 2015 and 2020, which the State is eligible under Special Assistance Package (SAP) announced by the Narendra Modi government in lieu of Special Category Status (SCS) Rao said that accepting the Special Assistance will not hamper the State’s demand for Special Category Status as the said special measure is also a part in the benefits that will automatically came to the State with SCS.
The MP stated that he had already written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to release additional 30 per cent funds in CSS under Special Assistance Measure of `27,571 crore immediately to the State without tying it up with EAP loans. The senior Congress leader suggested that the State government can request the Union government to immediately release those additional funds (`27,571 crore) due to it under Special Assistance or it can request the Centre to release central share of 90 per cent in all CSSs instead of 60 per cent in coming five financial years without tying them with EAP loans.
“I strongly feel that the State government has got every right to demand and it definitely relieves the State from the present financial stress to some extent,” he said.
In his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, KVP emphasised the need for implementing certain provisions of AP Reorganisation Act which are yet to be materialised. Stating that financial situation of the State is in bad shape, he requested the PM to take appropriate fiscal measures including to give tax incentives and tax breaks to promote industrialisation and support development of backward regions. He also urged the PM to release additional 30 per cent funds under CSS for the years 2015-2020, which is `25,171 crore, to the State.
Explaining the content of the letter at a media conference in New Delhi, the Congress leader said that assurances given on the floor of Parliament, including Special Status and compensating the resource gap that is likely to occur to the State in the financial years 2014-15 by way of allocating regular union budget in 2014-15, were completely neglected.
“Under the guise of 14th Finance Commission recommendations, the NDA government escaped from conferring the Special Status and it only released `3,970 crore against request of the State for `13,776 crore towards compensation of resource gap fund. It has only released `7,545 crore under all these provisions over a period of six years,” he said and added an amount of `8,615 crore released towards reimbursement of Polavaram expenditure cannot be included under these provisions.
Speaking on the Special Assistance Measures in lieu of Special Status, Rao pointed out that though the Union government assured the State of giving additional central share in the funding of CSS if they are shared in the ratio of 90:10 between the Centre and the State, it was restricted to repayment of loan and interest on the signed externally-aided projects. Because of the restrictions on this additional share, State could not reap any benefit under this assistance, he stated. “The State can repay the loans of EAPs as and when it falls due without any burden. But holding this amount towards repayment of loans of EAPs will not be economically beneficial to the State,” he said.Compared to its neighbour Telangana, AP gets low tax income in the GST regime.
The Congress leader stressed the need for allowing the Centre to complete the Polavaram Project, which is already delayed. Pointing out at reports that government is contemplating to float a Special Purpose Vehicle for project, he urged the govt reconsider the decision.