Centre will 'walk the extra mile' to help Andhra develop: Arun Jaitley

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke of the state aiming at 15 per cent state GDP growth next year.

Visakhapatnam: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday assured Andhra Pradesh that the Centre will walk the extra mile to provide financial assistance to the state as it has the potential to grow 4-5 per cent higher than the national average.

He was also confident that completion of the multi-purpose Polavaram project will make Andhra Pradesh a powerhouse for agriculture produce.

"Let me assure you and the Chief Minister that we will not only fulfill whatever promise we had as far as the central government is concerned, but will walk an extra mile as far as the state of Andhra Pradesh is concerned, because we know that it is here where the potential of much higher growth for the state and rest of India arises," Jaitley said here.

Terming Andhra Pradesh as one of the "most progressive states of India", he said it has to build its capital, execute large irrigation projects, build townships and manufacturing industry.

"The avenues of investment in Andhra Pradesh is far more compared to other parts of the country. I foresee for the next few years Andhra Pradesh growing at least 4-5 per cent ahead of the national GDP. The state has a huge potential," Jaitley said.

"It promises to be the most vibrant state with coastal economy. Hopefully, once the Pollavaram project gets fully commissioned, it will also be an important powerhouse as far as agriculture is concerned."

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke of the state aiming at 15 per cent state GDP growth next year.

He said the state is building a new capital at Amaravati which will need huge funds and require assistance from the Centre and private entities.

Addressing the summit earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Satya Prakash Tucker said the state is growing at 13 per cent and is expected to clock a double-digit growth for the next 10 years.

In September last year, the Centre had announced a financial package for Andhra Pradesh that included full funding of the Pollavaram irrigation project, tax concessions and a special assistance.

Andhra Pradesh, which financially suffered because of creation of separate state of Telangana in June 2014, will get a railway zone and all cost incurred on the irrigation part of the Polavaram project from the date it was declared a National Project on April 1, 2014, will be funded by the Centre.

The central government has agreed to give special assistance to Andhra Pradesh for 5 years, which will make up for the additional funds the state might receive between 2015-16 and 2019-20.

So far this fiscal, a further Rs 1,976.50 crore were released to the state.

( Source : PTI )
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