‘Polavaram is the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh and it will be completed’
The Vice-Chairman and other members of the Planning Commission have resigned along with the outgoing Government and there is no need to give any credence to reports of Planning Commission saying that Andhra Pradesh does not qualify for Special Category Status, Minister of Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu said.
Putting to rest the doubts on the issue arising out of reports in the media, he said that the statement was a part of the regular briefing given to the new Minister by the consultants in the Commission and did not have any official status.
The BJP Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to accord SCS to Andhra Pradesh and it would be for 10 years as five years would go in only drawing up projects and laying foundation stones for them, Mr Naidu said. A 10-year tax holiday would also be given for new investments in the State. Speaking at a function organised to felicitate him here on Saturday, the Minister pointed out that when the consultations were on about the AP Reorganisation Bill he had taken up the issue with then Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. He was assured that since Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Planning Commission his statement was the official stand, however, it would have to be ratified by the National Development Council comprising Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of all the States. With more than half States being under BJP and Congress it would easily be approved, Dr. Ahluwalia had told him, the Union Minister said.
The BJP Government was committed to the development of both the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and would not take any steps that would adversely affect either State, he said.
Pointing out that Polavaram project was the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh, the BJP Government was committed to complete it, Mr. Naidu said and dismissed statements against the Ordinance as politically motivated.