Vijayawada: Being critical on the Centre for giving a raw deal to states in the allotment of funds to local schemes and also for trimming down funds to Central schemes like NREGS and others, the Telugu Desam expressed apprehensions that such a tendency may affect the federalism in the country.
In reaction to the Union Budget-2019 by Union minister for finance Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday, Telugu Desam senior leader and former minister for finance, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, took potshots at the BJP-led NDA government for reducing the quantum of allotment of funds to several Central schemes being implemented in the states across the country and said that as NREGS funding was getting trimmed, it would severely affect development of rural infrastructure. He alleged that the Centre even ignored the interests of farmers by announcing no major allocation of funds either to support them to take up cultivation of crops or to provide relief in the event of suffering crop damage or loss due to natural calamities.
With regard to raising funds from both domestic and international finance agencies either by the Centre or by the AP government, the former finance minister stated that if the fiscal deficit was beyond three per cent of the gross domestic product, it would be difficult to raise any loan due to the norms imposed in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 as the Centre was having a fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent while the AP government had nearly four per cent.
Referring specifically to AP, Mr Ramakrishnudu said that no funds were allotted for the execution of the Polavaram irrigation project and also for the construction of the capital city Amaravati even as they were incorporated in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. He also flayed the Centre for not mentioning anything about according special category status to AP and also for no word of release of funds to overcome the revenue deficit to the tune of `7,000 crore for 2014-15.
The ex-finance minister said, “The BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going in a unilateral manner in allocation of funds in its budget by allocating funds only to Centrally-sponsored schemes and not allowing any money to state government initiated projects all over the country. This is going to affect the federal spirit in the country but the Centre wants to promote only One Modi – One Nation.”...