Package to cover 7 districts of Seemandhra. Officials feel similar package can also be considered for Telangana where the social indicators are very poor in districts like Mahbubnagar, Adilabad, Warangal, Nalgonda and Khammam.

It may be another two weeks for bifurcation of the State, but, plans are already in place for giving a thrust to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh.

In tune with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance of a special package to address the concerns of Seemandhra, authorities have identified seven backward districts of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra for a special development package. The proposed package is on the lines of the KBK (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) special plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand plan in Madhya Pradesh and UP.

The districts of Kurnool, Anantapur, Chittoor, Kadapa, Srikakulam, Viskhakaptnam and Vizianagaram will have focused development in agriculture, watershed, irrigation, drought mitigation, health, nutrition, education and industrial sectors.

The project envisages accelerated development of the region in two plan periods.

“The basic framework is ready. The project cost and other details will be finalised once the new government is in place”, officials in the planning department said.

Officials feel similar package can also be considered for Telangana where the social indicators are very poor in districts like Mahbubnagar, Adilabad, Warangal, Nalgonda and Khammam. Though the Act doesn’t mention about a special package for Telangana but the backwardness of these areas deserved special consideration, it is said.

There are some 18 indicators for backwardness as per the Raghuram Rajan committee. They pertain to income, education, health, household amenities, poverty ratio, female literacy rate, percentage of SC, ST population, urbanisation, financial inclusion and physical connectivity. As per the Raghuram panel methodology, Odisha ranks among the most backward state in the country followed by Bihar.

A cell is already set up in the Planning Commission to collect data on key parameters for identifying the backward areas.

Another such cell is being set up in HRD ministry for higher education institutions. Tuhin K. Pandey, joint secretary, Planning Commission, is coordinating with officials here, it is said.

The Rs. 5,527-crore KBK package in Odhisha covers eight districts in the sectors of drought proofing, livelihood, connectivity, health and education.

The Bundelkhand plan costing Rs. 7,266 crore focuses on drought mitigation strategies and covers seven districts in UP and six in Madhya Pradesh.

The best thing about special package is that the state gets 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent loan as against 30 per cent grant and 70 per cent loan in the general category.

The incentives also include promotion of new industries and substantial expansion of the existing units.

Besides 100 per cent excise duty exemption for 10 years, 15 per cent investment subsidy for plant and machinery and 100 per cent income tax exemption to all new units for initial period of five years.

Soon after the new chief minister of Seemandhra is in office after the Appointed Day, the special package plan would be presented to him and then the matter would be placed before the National Development Council for approval, it is said.