Andhra Pradesh Special Status: Arun Jaitley says 14th Finance Commission removed special category concept

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Updated: March 7, 2018 7:24:41 PM

Responding to the demands raised by alliance partner TDP, Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said that Andhra Pradesh suffered at the time of creation of Telangana.

Jaitley further explanation as to why special status can’t be given Andhra Pradesh.

Responding to demands raised by alliance partner TDP, Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said that Andhra Pradesh suffered at the time of creation of Telangana. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave his explanation as to why special status can’t be given to Andhra Pradesh. “What is the implication of special status? The special status used to be originally granted to states in the North-East because they have their own resources that were inadequate,” Jaitley said.

Speaking about the incidents that took place at time of bifurcation, Jaitley said that Andhra Pradesh was unwilling and Telangana wanted the division. Since Andhra was suffering in terms of resources, it was promised that AP should be given special category status, he said. “At that time, special category state concept did exist. But, the 14th Finance Commission removed the concept of special category,” Jaitley clarified further.

Jaitley said that Centre is ready to give benefits dispensed under special category status. “Special category status means that you get a 90-10 advantage, not 60-40. The Centre stands committed to it. The state has to tell us what manner it wants it in. At no stage has the Centre said that it will not be given,” Jaitley was quoted as saying.

“Sentiment does not decide quantum of funds. Centre has repeatedly said that we are ready to give it,” Jaitley added. The Finance Minister said that Modi government is trying to satisfy every condition put by TDP. “Only variation is that after Finance Commission report instead of formally calling it a special category state, we are calling it a special package, which gives same monetary benefits that a special category state gives you,” Jaitley said.

On Tuesday, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLAs and MLCs had voted in favour of snapping ties with the BJP for its “refusal to help” Andhra Pradesh after state’s bifurcation in 2014. AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu had held an impromptu meet during a legislature party meeting at Amaravati. Addressing his party workers, Naidu said Jaitley “cold shouldered” a delegation led by state Finance Minister Y Ramakrish-nudu that met him on Monday evening.

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