Fiscal reforms will be undertaken, says Yanamala

Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said here on Sunday that the Centre’s permission would be sought to amend Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act and relax certain fiscal parameters in view of the State’s precarious financial position.

Addressing media persons soon after entering his chambers in Secretariat here, he said the revenue deficit was expected to be as high as Rs.16,000 crore. While the first year’s budget deficit would be fully met by the Centre in accordance with the AP Reorganisation Act, the State government would press the Centre to bridge the deficit for the next few years too.

“We are not only asking to bear the expenditure for building the new capital, the Centre also has to provide lot of relief to the State to meet the situation arising out of bifurcation since it was the decision of the Centre to divide the State,” he added.

He said the State Government would also urge upon the 14th Finance Commission to allocate additional grants as a special case when the panel’s chairman and other members visit Hyderabad shortly.

Besides, Andhra Pradesh would also request the Centre to extend the Special Category Status to the State for 10 to 15 years as against five years promised by the previous UPA government.

Ramakrishnudu reiterated that the government would mobilise revenues without levying any taxes on the people. Steps would be taken to curb unproductive expenditure and plug the loopholes in the system to mobilise finances.

Fiscal reforms would be initiated and the issue would be discussed with officials in the department, he said.

Special category status

The Finance Minister also sought to allay doubts over granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh in the wake of the comments of an official of the Planning Commission that AP did not meet the criteria. Maintaining that Planning Commission has a limited role, he said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had committed in the Rajya Sabha that provide Special Category Status for five years. “It is not a big problem and the National Development Council will ratify it”, he added.

The Minister signed the first file instructing all departments to prepare budget estimates.