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Centre committed to special package for Andhra Pradesh

Centre committed to special package for Andhra Pradesh

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a key ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Wednesday night chose to pull out of the Narendra Modi government after the Centre ruled out Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, among other demands.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary are the two ministers who have been asked to resign from their respective offices.

Referring to the SCS, he said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had gone on record saying that financial package was better than SCS.

Currently, eleven states - Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand are the special category states. Though the government said it was ready for a discussion on the bank scam and other issues, the opposition parties were unrelenting in their protests, with slogan-chanting and placard-waving MPs repeatedly trooping into the well of the two Houses.

Apart from the demand for special status, the party had also insisted that the Centre should bridge the Rs 16,000-crore revenue deficit and extend industrial incentives at par with other states. The TDP had given a deadline till March 10 for the BJP to decide on making the announcements regarding the allocation of funds as well the special category status.

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The 14th Finance Commission raised the share of states in taxes collected by the Centre to 42 per cent from 32 per cent but abolished special category states. This comes after there have been several protests demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

"What is the implication of special status?".

"We have time and again told the Centre that Special Category Status is our right as we have suffered immensely due to the unscientific and irrational bifurcation of state. The difference is only 30 percent and we have agreed to reimburse this additional 30 percent grants to AP and we stand by it", Jaitley said.

On revenue deficit, he said Rs 4,000 crore has already been paid for 2014-15 and only Rs 138 crore remains.

Speaking at Jantar Mantar, Mr Gandhi said, "We are for special category status for Andhra Pradesh".


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