HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh’s fiscal crisis is to a certain extent self-made. At a time when every paisa counts, the state ended up forfeiting Rs 732.8 crore that was due to it from the 13th Finance Commission as it could not submit the necessary utilization certificate by the due date of March 31. This happens to be the highest amount unutilized by any state in the country.
The state cannot procure the funds now as the term of the 13th Finance Commission ended on March 31.
The NDA government, however, did save the TDP government the blushes by providing it about Rs 5,300 crore, with which it was able to pay off the overdraft of Rs 4,900 crore that it has taken from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, these funds given by the Centre was under the regular heads and not any extraordinary gesture.
The state was due Rs 2,377 crore from the 13th Finance Commission, but received only Rs 1,644.2 crore with the last installment of Rs 309 crore being received on March 31. For not having submitted the utilization certificate in respect of grants under the heads of incentives for UIDs (Aadhaar), maintenance of forests, improvement in justice delivery, provision of drinking water in tribal areas, construction of prisons and establishment of primary health centres, the state lost out on Rs 732.8 crore.
Except for the money received to bridge the revenue gap and for capital construction, which were incorporated in the AP Reorganization Act, no additional funds were sanctioned for the state. Moreover, most of the demands from the state were trimmed. For example, the CST compensation given was Rs 544 crore as against the state’s estimate of Rs 650 crore.
But the last minute release of Rs 5,295 crore by the Centre has saved the day for Andhra Pradesh which was in deep financial crisis. Apart from repaying the RBI Rs 4,890 crore taken as overdraft, the state cleared the March salary and pension bill to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore.
* Rs 1,800 cr: To bridge revenue gap for 2014-15
* Rs 1,000 cr: Capital city infrastructure
* Rs 500 cr: Capital city buildings
* Rs 544 cr: CST compensation
* Rs 100 cr: Godavari Pushkarams
* Rs 347 cr: General grant
* Rs 516 cr: First installment under 14th Finance Commission
* Rs 78 cr: Other incentives
* Total: Rs 5,295 crore