A delegation led by Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy on Friday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other central ministers demanding the early release of the pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation and other grants.
The delegation also called on Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant and its advisor Avinash Mishra and discussed various pending projects and issues related to the Polavaram project.
In a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala, Buggana Rajendranath explained the need for early release of pending grants to Andhra Pradesh, according to an official statement. Buggana urged the Union government to grant Rs 3,805.62 crore towards Polavaram project, Rs 1,597.27 crore towards local bodies grant and Rs 700 crore towards development assistance to backward districts.
The state's finance minister also urged the Centre to release a revenue deficit grant of Rs 18,830.87 crore as claimed by the state government.
In a statement, Minister Buggana said that the local bodies require additional support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early release of these funds to the state will ensure uninterrupted delivery of essential services to the citizens.
In his meeting with the Jal Shakti minister, Buggana Rajendranath underlined the need to set up a ''revolving fund'' and reimburse funds spent by the state government on the mega Polavaram project.
"In order to avoid delay, we suggested setting up a revolving fund, which would be easy to withdraw funds immediately after spending on the Polavaram project. Otherwise, the Jal Shakti Ministry recommends NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is an Apex Development) and then to the Finance Ministry for payment, which takes a longer time," he said.
He also wanted the Union minister to authorise NABARD to raise credit of Rs 15,000 crore, required for the project activities in the current financial year.
In his meeting with the MoS for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy, Buggana Rajendranath sought assurance that the provisions in the AP Reorganisation Act will be implemented.
The state Finance Minister was accompanied by Principal Advisor to AP Government Ajeya Kallam, Special Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Adityanath Das, and Principal Secretary (Finance) S S Rawat.