Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu who has been pretty determined and resolved on securing a ‘special status’ for the state has something to rejoice about finally, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an announcement that will amount to the treatment of Andhra Pradesh as a Special Category state.
After some long negotiations with the state government and consecutive consultations with the CM, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the details on Wednesday night to the media and this package is valid for five years, from 2015 to 2020.
Mr. Jaitley released the statistics of the monetary assistance provided by the centre since the birth of Andhra Pradesh On Polavaram irrigation project which he declared a national project. Mr. Jaitley said the centre would authorize the state to take charge of the construction while it is going to meet the financial needs. He also stated that the the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) shall issue two specific notifications on tax concessions being extended to Andhra Pradesh. On the demand for a new Railway Zone, Mr. Jaitley said it would be dealt with by the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
In his brief statements, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said Delhi will continue to extend all support to Andhra Pradesh. “It would be a continuous process. The new State needs hand-holding and the Modi government would do so”.
High drama and suspense reigned supreme through the day on the kind of special package the Centre would finalise for Andhra Pradesh even as hectic consultations began among Mr. Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu and Y.S.Chowdary in Delhi.
Union Minister for State for Science and Technology Mr. Chowdary kept briefing Chief Minister Naidu all through the day and at one point there was speculation that he could take a special flight to Delhi to be present when the package was announced.
The party sources, however, said that there were a few hiccups in finalizing the package as the Chief Minister kept insisting on changes through Mr. Chowdary, leading to the delay in the announcement. He is believed to have ensured that all promises made in the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act were included in the package.