Release grants due to State at the earliest, Harish requests Centre

Minister writes letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman

The State Government has requested the Central Government to release the grants due to the State under different heads without any delay.

Finance Minister T. Harish Rao said that grants under Section 94(2) of the AP Reorganisation Act for the development of backward areas for the years 2019-20 and the current year amounting to Rs. 900 crore are yet to be released. “As you will appreciate the yearly grant of ₹450 crore being sanctioned by the Government of India falls short of the requirement of ₹30,751 crore and the amount of ₹24,205 crore recommended by the NITI Ayog,” the Minister said in a letter addressed to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.

He requested that the grant be extended for five more years beyond 2021-22 in addition to releasing ₹900 crore due. Mr. Harish Rao recalled that the State had been denied XIV Finance Commission grants to local bodies amounting to ₹817.61 crore (₹315.32 crore to rural local bodies and ₹502.29 crore for urban local bodies). Though the State had fulfilled all the conditions, these grants were denied without any specific reason. The Centre should therefore take steps to release the grants at the earliest.

He requested release of special grant of ₹723 crore recommended by the XV Finance Commission for 2020-21 as the devolution to the State was projected to decline in absolute terms as compared with the previous fiscal. Grants recommended by the Finance Commission were never denied in the past, he said requesting the Centre to reconsider its decision and release the grant without further delay.

Mr. Harish Rao lamented that the Centre had released the State’s share of Centrally sponsored schemes to Andhra Pradesh in 2014-15, the first year of formation of Telangana. The entire Centre’s share was released to AP by oversight though it was apportioned in the ratio of population between AP and Telangana. The share of Telangana wrongly released to AP amounted to ₹495.2 crore. Though the matter was taken up with the government of the neighbouring State and the Accountant General, the amount is yet to be adjusted to Telangana.

“I request that this amount may be released to Telangana on a priority basis,” he said adding that the Centre should also consider release of IGST settlement dues amounting to ₹210 crore which is the due share of Telangana in the IGST amount of ₹13,944 crore transferred by the Centre to the consolidated fund of India in 2018-19.

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