To reverse deceleration of economic growth

Andhra Pradesh has sought five major initiatives by the Centre to reverse the present deceleration of economic growth that resulted in slowdown in domestic investment, the major one being introduction of goods and services tax (GST) regime from April 1, 2013 by moving forward from Value Added Tax (VAT).

These measures were suggested by Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy while speaking at the conference of finance ministers of states at New Delhi on Wednesday conducted by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to know the needs of states before formulating the Union budget for 2013-14.

Mr. Reddy appreciated the Centre’s financial restructuring plan for power distribution companies to take over 50 per cent of their short-term liabilities but sought relaxation in the pre-condition specified to achieve a certain percentage of aggregate technical and commercial losses.

The plan must be kept outside the purview of the Financial Responsibility & Budget Management legislation to pass the actual benefits to the State.

The Central excise on gas and customs duty on imported coal and gas must be reduced to make power available to consumers at lower tariff. Pending settlement of the Central Sales Tax, the Centre should provide for payment of compensation against this in the budget to bolster the confidence of states. The Minister requested that the guidelines of the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) be amended.

Also, he sought liberal assistance to Jalayagnam and national status to Polavaram and Pranahita-Chevella projects.

He regretted that substantial refund amounts due to Andhra Pradesh remained accumulated against the IT exports and sought immediate Central intervention to clear the arrears.