The official announcement regarding setting up of a major port in the state and mentioning Andhra Pradesh’s involvement in the major industrial corridor between Chennai and Bengaluru were some of the positive signs in the Union Budget presented on Thursday. The Budget also came as a shot in the arm for Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy as two of his pet initiatives — legislative backing for spending of funds to SCs and STs under the sub-plan and exclusive women’s banks — echoed in it. “The Centre is also keen on a sub-plan and provided 25 per cent more funds in the Budget and the state can benefit from this,” finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy said. Hailing the Union Budget, state finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy said the state now had the opportunity of recovering arrears of Central taxes of Rs 1,000 crore with the Centre making a provision for payment of arrears with an outlay of Rs 9,000 crore.
“We will get another Rs 5,000 crore towards infrastructure development in the Prime Minister’s package for extremist affected districts and Rs 1,400 crore under the fluoride eradication programme,” he added. The state’s failure to finalise a location for the new major port reflected in the Budget with the finance minister’s speech mentioning Sagar, the specific location for a similar port in West Bengal, while it merely stated Andhra Pradesh. “We will lag behind in making use of budgetary allocations if we continue to dodge on the location,” a senior official said. Though Central and state officials had narrowed down on Ramayampet, Tirupati MP Chinta Mohan had come in the way of the Union Cabinet taking a final decision by dashing off a letter to the PM to locate the port at Duggarajupatnam. Meanwhile, there was some ambiguity on whether the industrial corridor between Bengaluru and Chennai would cover AP. While Ramanarayana Reddy thanked the Centre for including the state in the corridor, officials said the state’s request to take up the corridor encompassing Chittoor and Anantapur districts was not conceded for the first phase.
The Budget estimates also indicated that state would get Rs 4,000 crore additional income in the next financial year as share in Central taxes compared to 2012-2013. The state as per revised estimates will get Rs 20,270 crore in the current financial year against a projected Rs 24,132 crore for the next financial year.