Special packages, incentives on the anvil

Emboldened by a good turnout of former Ministers rallying behind the party in the wake of the bifurcation, the Congress leadership in Delhi has decided to focus on convincing Seemandhra people that the Centre is committed to their all-round development by offering special packages and incentives.

After two-days of wide-ranging consultations the Seemandhra leaders had with AICC leaders, it became clear that the party was keen on reviving its fortunes. On Tuesday night too, the State leaders were asked to showcase the developments in the last 10 years and embark on a large-scale campaign to highlight the positive aspects of the packages in the Bill.

Flanked by former Seemandhra Ministers, Mr. Singh went out of the way to reassure people that their grievances would be addressed sincerely. He said former Minister Vatti Vasant Kumar had brought to the notice of Ms. Gandhi the issue of gas allocation from the KG basin. “Some of the gas allocation has to be dedicated to the new State of Seemandhra,” he said.

He said, “Bifurcation will give a fillip to both States for more comprehensive development of this region. Both the States will be competing with each other and will complement each other for higher growth.”

The AICC general secretary said all the Central assistance going to residuary AP would be in the form of 10 per cent loan and 90 per cent grant. “We are awaiting the notification by the President and the day of appointment for the new States. We will like this to happen as early as possible so that the new States can start functioning,” he said.

He clarified that special State category was for five years and tax incentives for 10 years. The four Rayalaseema and three north coastal Andhra districts would get special packages on the lines of Odisha and Bundelkhand. “All this will be in the form of total grant,” he added.