Andhra CM Wraps Up Delhi Visit, Discusses State’s Special Status

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy concluded his two-day trip to the national category, during which he discussed a wide range of issues affecting his state, including decentralisation of development and Special Category Status (SCS) for the state.

As per the official statement, the CM said, "In order to make the state systemically stronger and Atmanirbhar (self-reliant), it is imperative that Andhra Pradesh is accorded Special Category Status," PTI reported.

Reddy met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the night of 11 June and urged him to give assent to Andhra Pradesh DISHA Bills and Andhra Pradesh Land Titling Authority Bill 2020. He also asked the Union Minister establish the Central Tribal University within the tribal sub plan area.

The CM had sought the sanctioning of 13 medical colleges and financial assistance for them, asking for the release of pending dues of Rs 4,652.70 crore.

Further, he asked the Ministry of Rural Development for the Enhancement of Annual Person Days for Work Per Family from 100 to 150 days, along with arrears of Rs 529.95 crore towards Rural Local Body Grants, related to the 14th Finance Commission, and Rs 497 crore, related to the 15th finance commission.

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The CM met with Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat over the Polavaram project and reiterated the necessity to complete the project on time. He also sought the approval for an investment clearance of Rs 55,656.87 crore, in view of it being recommended by the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) and Central Water Commission, as well as accepted by Technical Advisory Committee.

As per the guidelines under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, he asked for reimbursement for the families affected by the project, further reiterating the need to shift the headquarters of PPA from Hyderabad to Rajamahendravaram.

The Chief Minister also called on Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar and deliberated over the cost of development of infrastructure in newly formed colonies, as a part of the assistance given to state governments under the PMAY programme.

On the subject of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), the CM met with the Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan and reiterated his view of not privatising the plant; instead, requesting the alternatives suggested to revive the plant. He asked to not allot the captive mine in Odisha and suggested other possibilities of restructuring the finances of VSP.

The Chief Minister said the works regarding the setting up of the petro chemical complex in Kakinada SEZ should be expedited and to cut down the VGF since the state could not bear such a burden in the present situation.

Later, the Chief Minister met with the Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, who is also incharge of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, and urged for the release of an amount of Rs 3,299 crore to subsidise PDS rice. He said the free rice distribution will be continued for another two months due to COVID-19, The New Indian Express reported.

He added that the poor of the state are suffering severely due to unreasonable restrictions under the National Food Security Act, and appealed for it to be rectified at the earliest.

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