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AP deserves fiscal aid but will push for special status: Naidu

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said the State richly deserves the financial package announced by the Centre but asserted it will continue to seek special category status.

"We are wounded soldiers. We richly deserve the (special financial) package. I thank the Prime Minister for what has been done to the State so far but a lot more still needs to be done," he said here.

"At the same time, we are still seeking grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh if there is any scope," Naidu said.

The NDA Government on Wednesday night announced a financial package for Andhra Pradesh that included full funding of Polavaram irrigation project, tax concessions and a special assistance, but stopped short of giving the state a special category status. Naidu's TDP is part of the BJP-led ruling coalition at the Centre.

Addressing a gathering in the Assembly lobby this evening, Naidu said he would write a letter to the Prime Minister seeking legal safeguards to the financial package.

"All that has been announced (by Union Finance Minister Arun) Jaitley should have legal backing and specific timelines for implementation. The industrial incentives should not be limited to just the backward areas but extend to all parts of the state. That's our demand," he said.

He said there was no question of any "compromise" on the promised new Railway zone at Visakhapatnam.

"The new Railway zone should be established in Visakhapatnam only and not anywhere else as being speculated. There will be no compromise on that."

Referring to Jaitley's announcement that the Centre would fund 100 per cent of the Polavaram project cost, Naidu remarked it gave him "satisfaction, happiness and confidence" about the completion of the multi-purpose venture by 2018.

"It's a relief for me," the Chief Minister said, adding the State Government would be ready to hand over the project to the Centre for execution if it promised to complete it within a specific time period.

When pointed out that the Centre has said it would fund only the irrigation component of the project, Naidu said it would include the resettlement and rehabilitation aspects as well.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, September 09 2016. 20:13 IST