Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Will give special status to AP if voted to power: Rahul Gandhi

Reuters Reuters
Andrew Cummings | 08 March, 2018, 01:42

Naidu made the announcement just hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed that it was hard to give "special status" to Andhra Pradesh.

"Our two Union Ministers Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y S Chowdary will resign tomorrow (Thursday)", Mr Naidu announced. Along with the TDP, the main opposition YSR Congress and the Congress parties have been staging protests inside and outside the Parliament for the last two weeks, demanding justice for Andhra Pradesh. The finance minister Arun Jaitley only spoke about a special package for the state. "That is why we took the decision of withdrawing our ministers", the chief minister said.

"We are basically pressing for three things - the grant of special category status, an extension of industrial incentives on par with 11 other states and bridging of revenue deficit for 2014-15".

The minister explained that the finance commission which devolves funds out of the Centre's residual resources to the states as part of the central schemes, is designed for the Centre to finance 60 per cent and the States 40 per cent.

BJP-TDP alliance is on the rocks and TDP is leading the protest against the BJP-ruled Centre in the Parliament over the issue of Special Category Status. Mr Naidu said, "Andhra Pradesh is not getting its due under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act". "Our stance has been very clear we are in support of Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh". He said that the Centre is willing to accept the state government's suggestion of routing funds through Nabard.

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Jaitley said while the promise of special category status to Andhra Pradesh was legally possible when the state was bifurcated, there is no such category after constitutional award by the 14 Finance Commission.

"When the division of Andhra took place, our promise was a special category to Andhra Pradesh. We can't have other states earning less than Andhra Pradesh", Jaitley said, stressing that the Centre has no more floating funds and every State has an equal right to money.

"So, a special package for the state was announced, and we stand committed to it", he said.

"Revenue deficit is for only ten months period".

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