Andhra Pradesh

Jaitley rules out rethink on special status

What if States economically weaker than A.P. demand the same, questions Arun Jaitley.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the special financial package given to Andhra Pradesh was in lieu of the Special Category Status (SCS) as the 14th Finance Commission had removed the granting of SCS to any State and that it was “exactly equivalent” to the amount the State would have got even under the SCS. This reiteration has ruled out any rethink on the issue, it seems.

Mr. Jaitley was reacting to the provision in the Congress manifesto that promised SCS to Andhra Pradesh. He said TDP chief and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s stand on SCS, after accepting the financial package, could encourage other weaker States like Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar to demand the same. “How can the Centre be step -motherly towards them?” he queried.

“We [the Central government] had offered the special package to which Chandrababu Naidu had agreed, he had written a letter of thanks to me, and he passed a resolution of thanks in the Assembly. The amount given was exactly equivalent to what would have been given under the SCS. He then took a U-turn,” said Mr. Jaitley.

“Today for a party that is unlikely to win an election, what if States, economically weaker than one State, like Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal demand the same? How can the Centre be step motherly towards them? So these questions will arise,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 8:01:49 AM |

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