Arun Jaitley Says Government Committed to Give Monetary Equivalent of Special Status to Andhra Pradesh After TDP Threatens to Quit NDA
New Delhi, March 7: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the Centre was committed to pay the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh. He said the compensation will be given to the government as special package. He, however, said that after the implementation of 14th Finance Commission report, special status, which was awarded to the north-eastern and three hilly states of the country, was done away with.
“The Centre stands committed to satisfy every condition. Only variation is that after the 14th Finance Commission report, instead of formally calling it a Special Category state, we are calling it a special package, which gives the same monetary benefits that a special category state gives you,” Jaitley told reporters.
Normally, the Centre pays 60 per cent cost of any scheme, whereas the state bears 40 per cent. States that fall in the special category get 90 per cent funds from the Centre.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified that the status was done away with, but the 90-10 provision still remained. He added that the monetary benefit must be given to Andhra Pradesh as it suffered greatly due to its bifurcation.
“The special status was granted to the North East and the three hill states as they lacked adequate funds. However, after the 14th Finance Commission report, the status was done away with, but the 90-10 provision remained. The Centre had decided that when AP’s bifurcation took place, the monetary benefit should be given to them as they suffered greatly,” said Jaitley.
Andhra CM and TDP leader, Chandrababu Naidu threatened to quit the NDA government over the denial of special status to the state. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that he would give special status to Andhra if his party came in power.