Visakhapatnam

Centre’s attitude likely to trigger regional struggle: ex-Minister Konathala Ramakrishna

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He ridicules allotment of paltry sum to North Andhra, Rayalaseema.

The details given by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely of the package and other issues have hurt the self-respect of people of Uttarandhra, former Minister Konathala Ramakrishna said on Thursday.

“Mr. Jaitely’s statement has given a go by to the assurances given by the government in Parliament itself to the backward areas of the State and by the BJP in its election manifesto. The Central government’s attitude is likely to spark off another regional struggle”, Mr. Ramakrishna said in a statement.

It is an insult to the people of Uttarandhra and Rayalaseema to be allotted a measly sum of Rs. 50 crore a year for every year for a district. This was a very meagre allotment made compared to the Bundelkhand and Koraput-Kalahandi package, he noted. The BJP government would have to pay heavily in the 2019 elections for the way it was dealing with the backward areas of AP, Mr. Ramakrishna said.

He also demanded the Government to form a new Railway Zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam to honour the long felt wish of people of this region. Mr. Jaitely has also failed to provide a clear a plan on establishment of Girijan university in Uttarandhra region, he added.

Real time assistance needed

Meanwhile, President of Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry A.V. Monish Row, in a letter to the Prime Minister said as a fledgling and economically backward State, needed an enormous amount of assistance either as package or as SCS. “The nomenclature is hardly relevant, the quantum of assistance substantially so. AP needs substantive and real time assistance and not the promises being made for last two years”, he said.

He felt that special assistance under SCS might not be sufficient for the State as the quantum of plan assistance has come down as well as with increase in tax devolution to States as per cent of divisible pool went up to 42 per cent. As part of the “package”, the assistance for externally aided projects can remain at 90 per cent as grant.

He said a special package covering the various requirements would be more lucrative to AP than a simple Special Category Status, unless the SCS specifically included various grants hitherto not included. AP needs funds for its many projects and capital Amaravati from the Centre and the ruling party cannot wish away these legitimate demands as it was also responsible for the bifurcation leading to the current state of affairs, Mr. Monish Row said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:27:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/Centre%E2%80%99s-attitude-likely-to-trigger-regional-struggle-ex-Minister-Konathala-Ramakrishna/article14630698.ece

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