A day after presenting a gloomy picture of the state's economy, Andhra Pradesh finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu sought to present its rosy side on Wednesday saying a lot of "development and welfare" has happened during the year.
"Performance-wise, this is a good year. Development and welfare happened very well and there is a positive result from the public," Yanamala told a press conference after a pre-budget meeting.
The government released funds both for development and welfare "perfectly" -- as per budgetary allocations and beyond -- despite the financial crunch, he claimed.
Many government departments received awards at the national level and also international rankings. "It's a good year, though we have certain problems. We have been ranked number one in institutional investments by RBI and ease of doing business by World Bank. We continued to achieve double digit economic growth despite some odds," the finance minister said.
He said the Centre owed Rs 12,000 crore towards bridging the state's revenue deficit caused by the bifurcation.
"But there are some differences in estimates between the state and the Centre. Nevertheless, we should still be getting some Rs 7,000 crore," Yanamala said. While the state registered a GSDP growth rate of 10.99% in 2015-16, a 12.23% growth was achieved in the first half of the current fiscal. A 27% deficit rainfall notwithstanding, agriculture sector (including fisheries) registered a 25% growth this year. "Food grain production touched 72 lakh tonnes during this year's Kharif against 69 lakh tonnes last year. Paddy productivity touched a record high of 5440 kg per hectare compared to 3000 kg earlier. Now, sustaining this is critical," Yanamala observed.
"Our target is to achieve 15% growth in the full year and we are trying for it. Now, our focus is on fiscal consolidation and sustainable growth," Yanamala added.
The state government has adopted the "happy family" concept with poverty eradication combined with equitable growth rate as top priority. Stating that AP was the only state in the country to undertake a compulsory study of inflation, the finance minister noted that food inflation (2.99%) was under control.
"The Wholesale Price Index for India touched 4.34%, while we are almost equal at 4.2%. Similarly, our Consumer Price Index is 3.4%," he said, adding "We are in a good shape in inflation parameters." "Only problem is cash crunch. We are working hard to manage cash," he said.