For the past few days, there have been a lot of discussions related to the funds that the central government would release for the nationalised Polavaram Project. To the dismay of the AP government, the Union Finance Ministry has now approved the estimation that was done for the project in the financial year of 2013-14, and said that the government should mandatorily agree to this estimate, or let go of the compensation that is to be paid to the government by the Center.
The estimation that was done in the financial year of 2013-14 was Rs. 20,398.61 Crores, and this was then approved by both the Jalshakthi and the Finance Ministry. There was a delay in the construction of the project, because of which the estimation of the project had to be made once again in 2017, when the estimate came to around Rs. 55,548.87 Crores. This was further adjusted for inflammation, and the final estimate was Rs. 47,725.24 Crores.
Now, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Central Government would be funding the project only according to the 2013-14 estimate, and that there would be no changes to it. Detailing the amount that the Center still needed to give the state, Sitharaman said that the state government had spent Rs. 4,730.71 Crores, after which the Center would have to give Rs. 15,667.90 Crores. She also said that Rs. 8,614.16 Crores have already been reimbursed to the government by now, and that only Rs. 7,053.74 Crores are now left for the central government to fund. Furthermore, she said that the Rs. 2,234.28 Crores that the state government has spent in this time will be reimbursed, and that the final and remaining amount that the Center would have to pay is Rs. 4,819.56 Crores.
This 2013-14 estimate is very less, when compared to the actual prices in the current situation. Sanctioning the 2017 estimate would have been a lot easier for the state government to bear with. However, it is to be kept in mind that it was Jagan who wrote a letter to the Center when he was the leader of the opposition party, expressing concern over the increased estimate of the Polavaram Project. Now, this letter has directly or indirectly messed up his government. It is now to be seen if the YSRCP government will fight with the Center for more funds, or if it will let things be this way.