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May 25, 2018
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Budget belied all expectations, says OppositionNo mention of promises made in Reorganisation Act: Congress; we are ready to resign, says TDP MP; it’s anti-people and pro-corporate: CPI(M)

The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Thursday said that the State received a raw deal in the Union Budget that was presented in Parliament by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

APCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy said there was no mention of the assurances given in the A.P. Reorganisation Act in the Budget. The people expected that the Centre would make provisions for the Visakhapatnam railway zone, Visakha-Chennai Industrial Corridor, Kadapa steel factory, and Dugarajapatnam port. The Centre disappointed the people. On the other hand, ₹17,000 crore was allocated for the Metro Rail project in Karnataka in view of the elections there, he said.

Impractical: YSRCP

YSR Congress Party Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy said the Budget left Andhra Pradesh high and dry as it did not make any significant allocations to the State. He said the Central government virtually ruled out the proposed railway zone on the pretext that it was not profitable.

“And, if the farmers’ incomes are to be doubled, the minimum support should be increased by 20% every year over the next five years, which does not appear to be possible given the current market scenario. Besides, the Central government’s claim to increase the GDP growth from 7% to 7.50% is ambitious,” he observed.

CPI(M) State secretary P. Madhu said there was no mention of the ₹12,500 crore due to the State towards bridging the revenue deficit. The economic survey points out that employment guarantee and agriculture were in doldrums. There were no special announcements to give relief to the agriculture sector in view of the prevailing conditions. The Budget was anti- people and pro-corporate, he said.

CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna said the Central government had hoodwinked the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Though it had announced railway projects for the BJP-ruled States such as Maharashtra, there was no mention of the Visakhapatnam railway zone, which had been promised in the A.P. Reorganisation Act. Unemployed youth and farmers were ignored. The Finance Minister prepared a misleading Budget keeping in view the general elections. It disappointed all sections of society, he added.

Naidu to blame: CPI

In Tirupati, Mr. Ramakrishna told the media that the raw deal was because of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s incapability. The Chief Minister failed to convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the importance of extending financial assistance. Mr. Naidu had completely surrendered to the Union government, he said.

Honour promises: TDP

Special Correspondent in Visakhapatnam writes:

TDP MPs were disappointed over lack of specific allocations for Andhra Pradesh in the Budget, Anakapalle MP Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao said.

“There is one year for elections and we have to go to the people. We are very disappointed with the Budget and are ready to resign as our position is not important for us,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao told The Media over the phone.

“We request the Prime Minister and the Union Government to honour the promises made,” he said.

He said the bifurcation was unscientific and that was why people had rejected the Congress. The TDP and the BJP had promised the railway zone, new capital, and educational institutions to the new State.

There was no steel plant, no railway zone and no funds for Amaravati in the Budget. Though some allocations were made for educational institutions, Central and Tribal universities, the Bills had to be passed by both the Houses of Parliament, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

Health insurance

BJP State general secretary J. Syam Kishore said the budget was “pro-farmer and pro-poor,” but it belied the expectations of financial support to various projects in Andhra Pradesh.

Senior BJP leader and A.P. State Health and Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation Chairman R. Lakshmipathi said the new National Health Protection Scheme, which contemplated providing health insurance to 10 crore poor families, was a major step towards cutting the out-of-pocket expenditure on health incurred by the masses.

“The eligible beneficiaries have to pay ₹330 as annual premium and avail insurance cover of up to ₹5 lakh,” he stated.