Amid strained ties with TDP, Centre allocates Rs 12.69-bn for Andhra

File photo of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu
The Centre has released a sum of Rs 12.69 billion to Andhra Pradesh under different heads in the last few days amid a strain in ties between the NDA and its ally TDP over allocation given to the state in the Union Budget.

The gross grant included Rs 4.17 billion for the Polavaram multipurpose project, one of the issues of contention between the allies TDP and BJP.

"The release of Rs 4.17 billion is towards the amount already utilised by the state against the irrigation component (of Polavaram) after April 1, 2014," an order issued by the Union water resources ministry's senior joint commissioner, R P S Verma, said.

The Centre, through the Polavaram Project Authority, had so far released Rs 43.29 billion for the project while the state government said it spent over Rs 72 billion after it was declared a national project.

Andhra Pradesh finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu submitted a memorandum to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last month stating that a sum of Rs 32.17 billion, spent on Polavaram, was yet to be reimbursed to the state.

Of this, the Centre has now released Rs 4.17 billion, an official of the water resources department here said.

The Centre, meanwhile, also released Rs 3.69 billion last night under post-devolution revenue deficit grant, as per the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, to Andhra Pradesh.

The Centre directed that the accounts of the scheme "shall be maintained properly and separately" and submitted as and when required.

"They shall be open to inspection by an officer deputed by the Government of India or the state government," an under-secretary at the Centre said in the release order.

The Centre also released Rs 2. 53 billion as 'basic grant' to urban local bodies in the state. This was the installment during the current financial year.

Apart from this, a sum of Rs 1.96 billion was released for the Anganwadi services scheme and the supplementary nutrition programme and another Rs 317.6 million was released for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, a state official said.

The TDP had been at loggerheads with the Centre over the "raw deal" given to AP in the Union Budget 2018-19 and the party MPs protested in Parliament on the issue saying no specific allocations were made to the state.

The party was particularly peeved that the Polavaram project was seemingly ignored in the Central allocations.

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