New Delhi/Vijayawada, Sep 7 (IANS) Making it clear that Andhra Pradesh will not be accorded special category status, the Centre on Wednesday said the state will be provided monetary compensation through externally aided projects.
After day-long suspense and hectic consultation in the national capital, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced on Wednesday night that the state will get monetary advantage equivalent to what it would have got if it was accorded special category status.
Jaitely made it clear that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement made in Rajya Sabha on Feb 20, 2014 for according special status to Andhra Pradesh can’t be implemented as the 14th Finance Commission has recommended that the special category status can be given to only hill states and North-Eastern states.
“We have decided to give a special assistance measure for the state of Andhra Pradesh wherein an amount equivalent to what they would have got if that statement could have been implemented, will be compensated to the state by virtue of externally aided projects,” he said without giving any number.
Jaitely, who was accompanied by central ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu and Y.S. Chowdary, said this special assistance will be for five years – 2015-2020.
The announcement came after day-long consultations Chowdary and other leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had with Jaitely, Venkaiah Naidu and other central ministers.
It was a disappointment for TDP, a part of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The party was expecting a massive financial package for the state, if not the special category status.
TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu went into a huddle with his cabinet colleagues and top party leaders in Vijayawada.