Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government saw no “immediate benefit” from the special assistance to be provided by the Centre under externally-aided projects (EAPs) after the Centre turned down its plea to let it use the money to clear outstanding loans, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said.
“The Government of India, much to our disappointment, intimated that the special assistance will be provided by way of repayment of loan and interest for the EAPs signed and disbursed during the five years and they will not provide support to clear outstanding loans.
“It is also intimated that EAP loans will be released to the state in the present procedure as loan only and with FRBM limits, Naidu said.
“It is difficult to understand the immediate benefit that would accrue to the state which is struggling to put its finances in order,” he said.
In a note tabled in the state Assembly today for a short discussion on the implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and the Special Central Assistance, the chief minister revealed that the anticipated amount under the special package was about Rs 20,010 crore as assistance from the Centre.
“The state government may not be able to spend this amount on EAP projects in the stipulated five years. Hence we requested the Centre to permit the state to clear other outstanding loans towards EAPs, small savings and Nabard,” Naidu said.
“We also requested it to permit us to borrow from internal lenders like Nabard, Hudco and other commercial banks and also to use the gap to pay interest commitments to Government of India, Nabard and EAPs,” he said.
“Since the repayment responsibility of EAPs would be taken up by the Centre, the state wanted the liability of EAPs taken out from its accounts so that it would not form part of the state’s FRBM limit, the chief minister said.
He had communicated with the Union Finance Minister in this regard and “decision of the Government of India is awaited,” Naidu stated.
The Centre, on September 8, 2016 announced a Special Central Assistance to AP for five years.
It was to be in the form of Central government funding for EAPs “signed and disbursed during these years”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said, while announcing the package.