Centre Let down Andhra Pradesh: Governor ESL Narasimhan
Centre Let Down Andhra Pradesh: Governor ESL Narasimhan. Governor ESL Narasimhan reflected the Andhra Pradesh Government’s disappointment over the Centre’s failure to announce a special status for the residual AP and has said a more favorable response was awaited from the Centre.
Governor ESL Narasimhan reflected the Andhra Pradesh Government’s disappointment over the Centre’s failure to announce a special status for the residual AP and has said a more favorable response was awaited from the Centre.
In his address to the joint legislature of AP on the opening day of the Budget Session, the Governor told the MLAs and MLCs that the Centre had failed to provide a level playing field to AP post-bifurcation to achieve its development agenda which it has to start from the scratch in the face of a huge inherited revenue and fiscal deficit.
He said that even in the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, the state has not got any special preference despite requests for hand holding support.
He recalled the assurances made in the AP Reorganisation Act and in the speech of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha to support the State on several fronts, including bridging revenue deficit, providing industrial incentives, special development package for backward areas in seven districts, assistance to State capital development, railway zone for the State and Special Category status.
He said financial support of Rs. 650 crore under Hudhud cyclone as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of Rs. 1,000 crore relief assistance, Rs. 350 crore under special development package for seven backward districts and adhoc support of Rs. 500 crore towards non-pan revenue deficit were sanctioned. "AP has just got Rs. 2500 crore in all from the centre additionally since bifurcation," he rued.
The earmarking of a meager amount of Rs. 100 crore to the Polavaram project has put State’s plans in disarray, Narasimhan said adding that Polavaram project is the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh. "My state will make all-out efforts to complete the dream project by March 2018," he added.
Pointing out that Andhra Pradesh lost significant resource base after the division and was at a disadvantage to compete with its revenue-surplus neighboring States, the Governor said it has a challenge to face cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad and the Centre should give required assistance to stand on a level playing field.
Outlining various programmes and plans of the State Government despite a critical financial position, Narasimhan said relentless efforts were being made to bring the development agenda back on track. Mentioning the vision to make AP one of the three high-performing States by 2022 and the best in the country by 2029, he expressed the hope that the Centre would come to the rescue of the State in a big way and help succeed in its development vision.
Throughout the address by the Governor, CPI MLC, P.J. Chandrashekhar Rao stood holding aloft a placard on Special Category status and special development package to backward districts. Almost all TDP members, including some ministers, donned yellow shirts, the party colour.