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Andhra Pradesh seeks central to support irrigation projects

Posted on Jan 17, 09:32PM | UNI

Andhra Pradesh Government today urged the Centre to amend the guidelines under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) to provide for all the full reimbursement of eligible expenditure incurred by the state without reference to budget earmarking.

Addressing the pre-Budget meeting convened by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram at New Delhi, a copy which released to the media here, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Anam Ramnaryana Reddy said the state is incurring significant expenditure every year on irrigation projects and the expenditure is not being fully reimbursed under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), whenever this exceeds the budget earmarking.

Andhra Pradesh has taken up as many as 86 irrigation projects under 'Jalayagnam' to create an additional irrigation potential of 97 lakh acres in tribal, backward and drought prone areas of the state, he said."in this endeavour, we need the support of the Centre.The Finance Minister also requested that Pranahita and Polavaram projects be declared as National projects,"he added.

There has been a significant deceleration in the growth of exports from the country and worsening of the current account deficit in recent years, he said and added that the software exports from Andhra Pradesh are significant.

A number of IT/ITES units based in the state are experiencing immense problems in receiving refund of input taxes, particularly CENVAT credit on export of services and there has been substantial accumulation of pending refunds in Andhra Pradesh due to inconsistent implementation of refund policy, Mr.Reddy stated.

It was needed to address the issue and one of the major factors that has contributed to the worsening of current account is the rising imports of gold into the country, he said. In this context, he requested to consider introducing Gold Bonds, which will address the problem of falling savings and current account deficit while providing the much needed additional funds for the infrastructure sectors.