Vijayawada: Expressing his dissatisfaction with the new Budget, YSRCP leader and member of Rajya Sabha V. Vijaya Sai Reddy said Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had claimed Budget 2021-22 would be like "never before" but for Andhra Pradesh it was like "always before".
He slammed the Centre's step-motherly treatment towards AP when it came to connectivity and said that while National Highway works were sanctioned in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, and Assam ahead of the elections in these states, there was no mention of Andhra Pradesh. Metro railway projects were announced in Kochi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Nagpur, and AP was again left out, he further claimed.
Mr. Reddy said Atmanirbhar Bharat does not take into account the "atmanirbharta" of Andhra Pradesh. Regarding the Polavaram Project, the YSRCP leader claimed the Budget did not mention the clearance of the revised cost estimates of Rs. 55,656 crores as recommended by the Central Water Commission.
Also, no new railway projects were announced for the state and allocation required for railway line between Kadappa and Bengaluru found no mention in the Budget, the MP alleged, adding the state wanted an increase in the number of Kisan Rails from Andhra Pradesh as it is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables, accounting for 11.8 per cent of India's production, however, the Budget was silent about this, too.
"The Budget this year also did not meet our demands for Special Category Status (SCS) to the state. The 15th Finance Commission also stated in its report that the domain of SCS is entirely under the Union government," Mr. Reddy said.
The finance minister had announced the establishment of four regional centres of the National Institute of Virology. Mr. Reddy demanded one centre be set up in Andhra Pradesh. He listed out various demands for the state, including a textile park, Kendriya Vidyalayas in Vizag, and extension of CGHS for KV teachers. He also wanted an increase in tax slab and standard deduction.