Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary has asserted that the Central government has extended a special package in lieu of the Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.
Replying to an unstarred question raised by YSRCP MP V. Vijaya Sai Reddy in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, the Minister said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had requested and reiterated for granting the SCS to Andhra Pradesh in recently held NITI Aayog meeting.
Mr. Chaudhary said the Union Government was being committed to support the development of the successor State of Andhra Pradesh.
Keeping in mind the obligation emanating from the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014; the recommendations of the Finance Commissions; the report dated December 1, 2015 of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, on ‘Developmental support to the successor State of Andhra Pradesh under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014’ and the request of the successor State of Andhra Pradesh, the Special Assistance Measure to the successor State of Andhra Pradesh was extended.
The special assistance measure would 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 (CSS) would have been shared at the ratio of 90:10 between the Centre and the State.
The Special assistance would be provided by way of repayment of loan and interest for the Externally Aided Project (EAPs) signed and disbursed during 2015-16 to 2019-20 by the State.
An amount of ₹19,846.199 crore under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 had been released by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, to Andhra Pradesh, he said.
Further, as per the recommendations of the respective Finance Commissions, Revenue Deficit Grant of ₹22,112 crore for 2015-20 and ₹5,897 crore for 2020-21 had been released to Andhra Pradesh, he said. The SCS for plan assistance was granted, in the past, by the National Development Council (NDC) to States that were characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration. The features included hilly and difficult terrain, low population density and/or sizeable share of tribal population and strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries. Also, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of State finances were other criteria. The decision was based on an integrated consideration of all the factors listed above and the peculiar situation of the State, he explained.