Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 on Monday in Parliament. The ‘once in a century’ budget was focused on six pillars: health and well-being, physical, financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development, human capital, innovation and R&D, and minimum government-maximum governance.
While the Finance Minister announced various projects across the country, there was one state that skipped any mention. Andhra Pradesh did not receive any support from the government for existing projects like Polavaram, nor did it receive any allocation for new projects. On the other hand, the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu is set to get an investment of Rs. 1.03 lakh crore for 3,500 km of the national highway. Another state in the region, Kerala will receive Rs. 65,000 crore for 1,100 km of the national highway which includes a 600 km section of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor.
Budget 2021 announced significant investments in the fishing industry and announced five new fishing harbors in the country. Only one of which will be located in Andhra Pradesh, at Visakhapatnam. The others will be developed in Kochi, Chennai, Paradip, and Petuaghat. Even though Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in November 2020 stated that he was focused on providing support for the livelihood of the fishermen community of the state, he failed to receive any support from the Centre in this regard. While the Finance Minister announced the establishment of a new Multipurpose Seaweed Park, it is to be located in Tamil Nadu.
Jagan Mohan Reddy has made several visits to Delhi and held multiple meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the last few months. Additionally, Andhra Pradesh’s Finance Minister had also held meetings with the Union Finance Minister recently. Despite numerous trips and discussions, Andhra Pradesh was ignored in the Union Budget for the year. The state of Andhra Pradesh has been neglected by the Centre earlier too in the matter of special category status.
Questions are being raised about the agenda for meetings between Jagan Mohan Reddy and the Centre as they have not resulted in any benefits for the state and its people. Some may wonder whether the agenda for the meetings was for the Chief Minister’s personal gains or whether he is simply unable to assert the requirements of the state of Andhra Pradesh.