Andhra chief minister meets NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, discusses funds for state development

Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, IndiaUpdated: Sep 13, 2019, 07:18 PM IST

File photo: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.  Photograph:(ANI)

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The Niti Ayog vice-chairman said that they will provide maximum help to the state as the vision and plans are good of the Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar met chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy here on Friday to discuss funds for the development of the state from Centre.

Senior officials of the state gave a presentation to Kumar explaining the department wise situation of the state.

"NITI Aayog alone can cooperate Andhra Pradesh which is suffering losses after bifurcation. 15th Finance Commission and NITI Aayog should liberally help the state. The Centre is planning to achieve a $5 trillion economy. The state will also be a part of achieving that target if the Centre gives a helping hand," said LV Subrahmanyam, Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary.

Highlighting the works of the state government, Subrahmanyam stated that the state is implementing transparent policies in governance. They brought the Judicial Preview Act for the first time in India; under which tenders will be reviewed by a Judge. Clusters in Visakhapatnam - Chennai, Chennai - Bangalore corridors are being developed.

The state government has also selected 25 engineering colleges for skill development.

"The Centre should constitute Kadapa steel plant, as assured in the bifurcation act. The state government brought village secretariat concept for decentralisation of governance. We are developing the state as an investment hub, for which we need the Centre's cooperation. Moreover, they are going to introduce electric buses to prevent pollution. The government is also going to launch a new scheme 'Amma Odi' (Mother's lap) for the eradication of illiteracy, for which we need cooperation from HRD ministry," he said.

The Niti Ayog vice-chairman said that they will provide maximum help to the state as the vision and plans are good of the Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

"The state should take initiative on banning single-use plastic. We are in favour of encouraging zero budget natural farming. What I observe is that the revenue deficit of the state is a matter of concern. Non-budget expenses are high. The state government should focus on investments and public debts. We are ready to work with the state government," he said.

The vice-chairman also suggested the state to focus on housing in rural and urban areas. He said that they are trying to provide support price to promote the cultivation of legumes and oilseeds in the state.

"In Andhra Pradesh, anaemia in women is very high. The state should focus much on women and child welfare. Proper care should be taken so that minerals and vitamins be available in food. The state should focus on food processing and agro products exports," he said.

Addressing Kumar, Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy said: "The state government is implementing plans to overcome illiteracy. We are developing 44000 plus schools in the state in a phased manner. In the first phase, we are providing at least 9 minimum facilities in 15,000 schools. English medium is being introduced in Class 1 to 8 from next academic year. That will be extended to 9th and 10th classes in the later year."

He further informed that under "Amma Odi" scheme, every mother sending her children to school would be given Rs 15,000. This scheme will be started on January 26. Quality education with all facilities will be provided in government schools. "Our aim is to bring illiteracy to zero levels. The Amma Odi scheme can be a role model for the entire nation if Ministry of Human Resource sponsors the scheme," he said.

The government is taking steps to eradicate malnutrition in children and to maintain sanitation, cleanliness of drinking water and prevent unhealthy atmosphere. Also, the government is going to bring a water grid to provide clean water to every household.

The government has increased the quality of food being provided under mid-day meal in schools and to Anganwadi centres so that the level of anaemia which is prevalent in tribal areas and remote areas can decrease.

The government is soon going to launch the Arogyasri scheme under which all families which are below the poverty line can get treatment in corporate hospitals on the expense of government fund.

"In particular, Dengue and Malaria are being brought into the ambit of Arogyasri. This scheme will be launched from December as a pilot project in West Godavari district. We are developing all government hospitals to meet national standards," he said.

Reddy further stated that the state is suffering from some problems that are inherited from the previous government.

"The earlier government had introduced Rs 2.27 lakh crores budget, though it was voted on account only. We kept the budget at the same level but made some internal changes. The state government gets income from state revenue and Central taxes. There are the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) limitations on debts. In this wake the central government should not reduce the grants to the state," he added.

The state ministers Buggana Rajendranath, K Kannababu, M Gowtam Reddy, G Jayaramulu; NITI Aayog delegation members and senior bureaucrats from state government were also present in the meeting.