Perhaps this would be the final statement by the Central government on granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Union Minister of State for home, Nityanand Rai told the Parliament on Tuesday that there is no scope for granting of special category status to any state.
The Minister said that the Central government had increased the tax divulution to the states from 32 per cent to 42 per cent as per the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. The same was retained by the Fifteenth Finance Commission, the Minister said.
Accordingly, funds are being released to the states, including Andhra Pradesh, the Minister said, in reply to the questions by Lavu Srikrishna Devarayalu and Vallabhaneni Balashowry in the Lok Sabha during question hour.
The objective has been to fill the resource gap of each State to the extent possible through tax devolution, the minister said. He further said that Post-Devolution Revenue Deficit Grants have been provided to States where devolution alone could not cover the assessed gap.
The Minister, however, the Central government has agreed to give special assistance to the State of Andhra Pradesh to make up for the additional Central share the State might have received during 2015-16 to 2019-20, if the funding of Centrally Sponsored Schemes would have been shared at the ratio of 90:10 between the Centre and the State.
The special assistance is to be provided by way of repayment of loan and interest for the Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) signed and disbursed during 2015-16 to 2019-20 by the State. Accordingly, based on the request received from Andhra Pradesh, the Central government has released an amount of Rs 15.81 crore in 2018-19 towards repayments of interest liabilities of EAPs signed and disbursed by the State during 2015-16 to 2017-18.
The Minister also told the members that a number of provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (APR) Act, 2014 have been implemented and the remaining provisions of the APR Act, 2014 are at various stages of implementation. Some of the provisions relating to infrastructure projects and educational institutions have a long gestation period for which a time period of ten years has been prescribed in the Act, he added.