Andhra Pradesh

SCS not a closed chapter, says Jagan

Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy says there is tremendous response to the welfare schemes announced recently.  

The long-pending and much-sought-after Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh is not a closed chapter and the State government is well within its limits to take its development agenda forward through welfare schemes, says Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Speaking at the first ever media chit-chat, after assuming office as Chief Minister, at his camp office on Monday, Mr. Jagan said, “We’ve been pursuing the Centre for SCS. It’s not a closed chapter. It’ll be a possibility till the day we stop fighting for it. Some day God will soften the Prime Minister’s heart so that it will be a reality. Worst case, it may not be this term. But it may be a reality when the Centre feels our need and this will be our demand.”

Mr. Reddy had written to the Prime Minister reminding him of the bifurcation promise and 15th Finance Commission report that stated that ‘grant of SCS lies in the hands of the Centre’.

For the record, the SCS was promised to Andhra Pradesh by the then Congress government at the Centre in 2014, at the time of bifurcation which resulted in the formation of Telangana. The then Opposition party BJP too agreed to it and even stated that SCS would be extended by five more years if it was voted to power.

Besides tax breaks and other benefits, the State with SCS will get 90% of all the expenditure on centrally sponsored schemes as Central grant. The rest of the 10% will also be given as a loan at zero per cent interest. Usually, the ratio for general category States is 70% loan and 30% grant.

Welfare

Sounding upbeat about the ongoing welfare schemes which are implemented as part of the YSR Congress Party’s flagship programme Navaratnalu, Mr. Jagan said the State would be able to sustain the schemes. “There is a tremendous response to our schemes and we are very much equipped to sustain them financially. We also see our financial ability growing year over year, which means a better scenario,” he said.

Popular among the programmes are English medium in government schools, Rythu Bharosa - payment to ₹50,000 to farmers (spread across 5 years), free healthcare through Arogyasri, payment of ₹15,000 to mothers of school-going kids below the poverty line, pensions to the elderly, liquor ban, housing to 25 lakh poor people and fee reimbursement.


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 6:40:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/scs-not-a-closed-chapter-says-jagan/article30786462.ece

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