Promising agitating TDP members that a solution will be worked out soon, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre is looking at all issues concerning Andhra Pradesh and a decision on a special financial package and revenue deficit will be announced in the next couple of days.
He said even though the BJP had supported the creation of Telangana, they felt Andhra Pradesh would be at a disadvantage. On the creation of Andhra Pradesh capital, Amaravathi, he said the Centre has made some payments for backward districts development and spent Rs 4,500 crore towards the ambitious Polavaram project.
On the financial package promised to the state of Andhra Pradesh in the reorganisation act in 2014, Jaitley said: “Now the package involved several aspects, many of which have been implemented. Some of them are work in progress. We have given so far funds as promised for a large number of institutions which are being created because most of the institutions went to the Telangana state. Therefore, AP is entitled to these institutions.”
“Funds have been given and funds will continue to be given” for establishment of those all the institutions which are mentioned in the Act, he said.
“Now there are two areas which are being worked out. The first was the amount in lieu of special package. Now the state had wanted the money to come by way of externally aided projects.
On January 3, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh wrote to me saying that this should be given through Nabard,” he said.
Arrangement has been worked out and the officers after confirmation from the State have to inform the Expenditure Department about the acceptability, he said. He assured that the government will try and expedite that as soon as we get consent of state government.
On revenue deficit, he said, there is another proposal which is being made.
“The state officers have again back. They are expecting something more. We are trying to narrow that gap and bridge that gap. These two would be worked out in the course of next couple of days,” he said.
With regard to proposals pertaining Railway and Petroleum Ministry, he said: “We are already in discussion with various ministries, our friends from Andhra Pradesh are also in discussion and we are trying to find out a solution which is possible.
“We will try and do it extremely early. We are extremely sympathetic to the people of Andhra Pradesh and therefore would look into each one of these issues extremely sympathetically.”
There was high drama in Lok Sabha as soon as Jaitley stood up to reply to the budget discussion. Agitating TDP members, who were already in the Well, turned towards Jaitley and urged him to consider their demands.
Jaitley asked them to allow him to begin his speech and assured them he would also address their concerns. Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Statistics and D V Sadananda Gowda too tried to convince the TDP members to allow Jaitley to speak. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan warned the TDP against showing their back to the Chair. It took TDP leader Thota Narasimham several minutes to convince his colleagues to allow Jaitley to speak.
When Jaitley spoke on Andhra Pradesh, the TDP members were standing close to him, prompting union minister Uma Bharti to shield his cabinet colleague from any possible disruption.
TDP, an NDA ally, has been disrupting proceedings, demanding a special package for the state.
In his speech, Jaitley said many of the promises made at the time of bifurcation of the state are being fulfilled and various other works are in the progress.
But his assurance failed to placate the members of TDP and YSRC who protested by displaying placards and shouting slogans in the Well of the House. Some of them also squatted in the Well in protest.
With PTI inputs
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