Special package to Andhra likely in a day or two

Special-packageNew Delhi/Vijayawada (IANS) The Centre is expected to announce a special package for Andhra Pradesh in a day or two as hectic consultations were on in the national capital on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely told reporters that they had not reached to a conclusion on making the announcement on Wednesday.

He said the special package would have all the benefits which a state gets under special category status.

Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary met Jaitely in the evening for another round of talks on the commitments made to the state at the time of its bifurcation.

Jaitely assured him that efforts would be made to make the fund allocation at par with the special category status.

It was not clear if Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu would agree to the special package being offered by the Centre instead of special category status.

Naidu went into a huddle with some of his cabinet colleagues and party leaders in Vijayawada to discuss the proposed package.

Though the Centre is keen to announce the special package in the presence of Chandrababu Naidu and reportedly invited him to the national capital, the latter has not made up his mind.

TDP chief’s close confidants Y.S. Chowdary and MP C.M. Ramesh held a series of meetings with Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jaitely.

Chowdary and Ramesh briefed Naidu about their talks.

Naidu, whose TDP is a partner in the BJP-led government at the Centre, is insisting on clarity on some points.

He wants the Centre to totally bridge the state’s revenue deficit, provide Constitutional guarantee for subsidies to the industry and announce new railway zone in Visakhapatnam.

The TDP chief is also demanding an announcement on increasing the number of assembly seats in the state.

Naidu has conveyed to the NDA government that he will be satisfied only if all the commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act were fulfilled.

Medaram Jathara

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