With Jagan at helm, Centre extends over Rs 4,000 crore to Andhra Pradesh
In the last two weeks, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared bills to the tune of over Rs 4,200 crore under three heads, thanks to improved relations with Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.Updated: Jun 15, 2019 22:50 IST
The change of guard in Andhra Pradesh has changed the attitude of the Centre in releasing funds to the state for various projects and schemes.
In the last two weeks, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared bills to the tune of over Rs 4,200 crore under three heads, thanks to improved relations with Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.
On Thursday, the Centre approved the release of Rs 3,000 crore towards reimbursement of funds spent by the state government on the Polavaram irrigation project on river Godavari. The decision followed a fresh representation by Andhra Pradesh special chief secretary, irrigation, Aditya Nath Das, to the Centre.
Since Polavaram has been declared a national project, the Centre has to bear the entire cost of construction. While the state government has spent Rs 11,655 crore on the project till now, the Centre has released Rs 6,726 crore.
Das confirmed that the water resources ministry had approved the release of Rs 3,000 crore towards reimbursement of expenses incurred on the Polavaram project, out of Rs 4922 crore sought by the state government.
“The file has been sent to the finance ministry and from there, it would be sent to NABARD [National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development], which will release money to the state government through the Polavaram Project Authority. We are expecting the money at the earliest,” he said.
The Centre is also examining the revised project estimates and the state government is hopeful of getting the approval shortly, he said.
Due to strained ties with the previous Telugu Desam Party government headed by N Chandrababu Naidu, the Centre had not been releasing the remaining Rs 4,929 crore to the state, despite repeated reminders.
Things started moving fast after Jaganmohan took over as chief minister. On his first visit to Delhi since, he appealed to the Centre to release all dues to the state.
While approving the release of Rs 3,000 crore immediately, water resources ministry officials said the balance of Rs 1,929 crore would be released once the utilization certificates were submitted.
On Thursday, the Union rural development ministry approved release of another Rs 708.65 crore under the employment guarantee scheme to Andhra Pradesh. In the last week of May, the Centre released Rs 534 crore towards food subsidy for procurement of rice for the mid-day meal scheme and Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
Telugu Desam Party spokesperson Y V Babu Rajendra Prasad claimed, “What the Centre is releasing to the state now is based on the bills submitted by the TDP government. It did not release funds then due to political reasons, but is doing it now only because Jagan is cosying up with the BJP.”