Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening, reiterating the demand that the Centre accord Special Category Status to the state and fulfill other commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
Jagan met Modi a day after the YSRCP had supported the Centre's move to withdraw special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Andhra CM was accompanied by YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy and a few other MPs from his party. Expressing dissatisfaction over the damages to the state's finances and increased debt burden since bifurcation, the letter had a long list of requests, including subsidies for setting up industries in the state, GST and I-T exemption and hundred percent insurance premium reimbursement for 10 years. It was stressed that SCS was essential for industrial and financial development of the state.
The Chief Minister also sought financial assistance from the Centre for various projects. The letter seeks reimbursement of Rs 5,103 crore spent on the Polavaram project in the past, and asks for a grant of Rs 16,000 crore in this Financial Year for land acquisition, and rehabilitation works. A grant of Rs 23,300 crore for backward districts in the state was also sought, making a reference to the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) scheme in Odisha which was meant for developing poor districts in the state with high tribal populations. The letter also requests the Centre to fill in a revenue deficit of Rs 22,948 crore.
Noting that out of the Rs 2,500 crore grant promised by the Centre for the capital Amaravati, Rs 1,500 crore have been released so far, the letter states that a new estimate for capital construction will be proposed from a â€˜scientific perspectiveâ€™ after probing irregularities in the capital project.
In addition, support was sought for various projects, like the interlinking of the Godavari and Krishna rivers to supply water to the drought-prone Rayalaseema region, and linking the north Andhra rivers through the Polavaram left canal.
Describing the status of water crisis and drying up of rivers in the state, the CM in the letter announced that a water grid has been planned to solve the water crisis by 2050. The water grid is estimated to cost around Rs 60,000 crore, for which suitable support was sought from the Centre.
Support was also requested for setting up of the Kadapa steel plant in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, and for establishing a port at Ramayapatnam.
Justifying his government's decision to cancel Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) entered into by previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government with the producers of renewable energy, Jagan Reddy said the previous government was irrational and outlandish in signing these PPAs as they caused huge burden on the state exchequer. He alleged that PPAs were signed only to benefit a select few with ulterior motives.
The Chief Minister said though there was a purchase limit of 5-10 percent, the TDP government purchased 23.6 percent of renewable energy, causing Rs 2,654 crore loss to electricity department. He blamed the previous government for the power producers landing in Rs 20,000 crore debts.
Jagan also told the Prime Minister that the state's debts in 2014-15 were Rs 97,000 crore but by 2018-19, they mounted to Rs 2.58 lakh crore.