The Andhra Pradesh government is expecting an additional plan assistance from the Centre to meet its commitments on capital expenditure during its discussions with the Planning Commission in New Delhi on April 18 on its outlay plan for 2012-03.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who will lead the team, is expected to press the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, to give additional assistance of Rs.300-1,000 crore. Ahead of the meeting, Mr Reddy held a meeting with Finance Minister A. Ramnarayan Reddy, Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi and others in AP Bhavan on Tuesday.
The outlay plan in the current fiscal is Rs.54,030 in the Rs.1.45 lakh-crore budget. This includes Rs.5,080 crore expected from Central-sponsored schemes like the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme. Sources said the team will seek to impress upon the Planning Commission the need to release more funds to meet impending commitments.
One such commitment is Pranahita-Chevella project taken up at cost of Rs.38,600 crore to benefit the backward Telangana region. The State government has been pleading for long with the Centre to make Pranahita-Chevella and Polavaram national projects so as to meet their entire expenditure.
According to sources, three factors may inhibit the Commission from releasing additional funds. Firstly, the plan size compared to that of 2011-12, has been enhanced phenomenally without the backing of resources. Secondly, the State government has failed to spend the plan funds in the past. In 20011-12 itself, the expenditure was only 85 per cent of the total outlay. Finally, the government is not heeding the Planning Commission's advice to phase out subsidies.
An official referred to how the Planning Commission had merely rounded off the figures during the plan discussions last year and granted only Rs.30 crore, dashing the hopes of the State government. He said if the commission adopted the same attitude, the State might get only a pittance.