Centre appears to be harboring some doubts about the revenue deficit projected by Andhra Pradesh government. Indicating to this union finance minister Arun Jaitely said the issue of bridging the revenue gap was being examined by the centre. Responding to the debate on Finance Bill in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Arun Jaitley poured cold water on the expectations of the people of state with regard to the special status to Andhra Pradesh.
He stated that Andhra Pradesh had been given more funding than was expected. Jaitely said this when Andhra MPs demanded a clarity on the demand for a special category status to Andhra Pradesh, and skipped the matter as usual, and reeled out the statistics of the amounts released to Andhra Pradesh in the past 22 months.
It clearly showed that NDA government did not want to entertain the demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh. Arun Jaitley’s was the first clarification from a cabinet minister as earlier statements had been made by ministers of state for home, and finance.
” We have been releasing additional funds periodically to Andhra Pradesh ever since the state was bifurcated,” he said stating that AP had been given all sorts of assistance barring some amount to bridge the revenue deficit for 2014 -15. During 2015-16 funds to the tune of Rs 21,900 crore had been devolved to Andhra Pradesh and out of which Rs 6609 crore was meant for bridging revenue deficit. For local bodies, Centre has released Rs 1259 crore. We have released funds for the Polavaram project as well,” Arun Jaitley said.
Stating that Rs 2015 crore had been given for the construction of Capital city Amaravati, the finance minister said centre was committed to honor all assurances which were mentioned in the AP Reorganization Act, 2014.
” AP need not get unsettled as we have given more than expected . The issue of special category status has not been included in the Act. Even though the special status was discussed in Parliament, it had not been incorporated in the Act and it doesn’t form part of the Act, ” he said.