New Delhi/Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital and urged him to relax the debt ceiling for the state.
He told the Prime Minister that the previous government had gone on a borrowing spree beyond the limits from 2016-17 to 2018-19 and as a result, a cut is being imposed on the current borrowings. The debt ceiling has been slashed by Rs 17,923 crore in the last three years, he said.
Stating that loans were taken during the Covid crisis, the Chief Minister requested the Prime Minister to take a positive decision in this regard.
According to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), during the 45-minute discussion, Jagan Mohan Reddy discussed issues ranging from compensating revenue deficit, Polavaram, NREGS to sanction of new medical colleges.
This was Jagan Reddy’s second meeting with Modi in less than two months.
He requested the Prime Minister to release funds of Rs 32,625 crore for various pending bills under 10th Pay Commission, including financial package for rebuilding discoms, senior citizen pensions and loan waiver for farmers.
He said Rs 6,627.86 crore is receivable by Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation Limited (APGENCO) from the Telangana government and requested the Prime Minister to direct the authorities concerned to settle the dues at the earliest so that the state’s power sector will be financially strengthened.
On the Polavaram project, he urged the Prime Minister to approve the revised cost estimates of Rs 55,548.87 crore as the Technical Advisory Committee had already approved. He asked to consider the drinking water component of the Polavaram project as an integral part of the project structure and follow the same approach as other national projects in the past.
He also requested the Prime Minister to clear the bills in total fortnightly and not component-wise and reminded that the state government was not paid Rs 905.51 crore that was spent on the project. The Chief Minister suggested providing funds in advance at the beginning of the financial year so that the construction of the Polavaram project can proceed smoothly. He appealed to provide R&R package to the displaced families in direct benefit transfer manner, which ensures transparency.
Jagan Mohan Reddy said there is inadequate coverage of beneficiaries under NFSA (National Food Security) Act, as a large number of needy and deserving persons are being uncovered and thus sought to eliminate inequalities in the selection of card holders. He said that the country has a stockpile of three lakh metric tonnes of rice each month, and reminded that NITI Aayog has recommended that 0.77 lakh metric tonnes of rice can be allocated to the state.
The Chief Minister also said that there were fewer allocations under the Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Yojna as nearly 56 lakh families were left out and the state government is providing the rice subsidy to them.
Further, he urged the Prime Minister to give approvals for setting up another 12 medical colleges in the state to cater to 26 districts. Also, he asked the Prime Minister to renew the approvals of the site clearances for the greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram.
On setting up an Integrated Steel Plant in YSR district, he requested to allocate iron mines to the APMDC for an uninterrupted supply of iron ore to operate the plant. The steel plant is essential for the livelihood of the people of Rayalaseema and for economic progress in the region, said the Chief Minister.
Later, he asked the Prime Minister to give approvals to allot beach sand minerals to Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation which could attract investments of Rs 20,000 crore. He said that 14 of 16 approvals are in a pending state.
Later, the Chief Minister also met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.