Vijayawada, Sep 7: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today welcomed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement of a financial package for Andhra Pradesh and said he would have been happier had the Centre granted special status to the state. He said the Centre should implement its promises “in true spirit” and in a time-bound manner. “People of the state have been waiting for this for many days now…Had they granted special status, I would have been happier. In case they have some technical problems, they should do whatever is possible as per law,” he told a press conference after midnight here. Naidu demanded that the Centre expedite the work on the Polavaram project and complete it in a time-bound manner.(ALSO READ: We have many problems, waiting for solution: Chandrababu Naidu)
With respect to the construction of capital city Amaravati, he said Rs 2500 crore already been sanctioned and another Rs 1000 crore promised would not be in any way sufficient. “The Centre should do justice in this regard,” he added. Jaitley’s announcement came after the draft of it was ostensibly approved by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Opposition parties in the state criticised Jaitley’s announcement, saying there was “nothing” in it. “It’s a clear betrayal by BJP. This will be a black day in the history,” CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna said. AP Intellectuals Forum president Chalasani Srinivas also castigated the Centre over going back on its promise of granting special category status to AP.
Jaitley announced the special package for the state at a late night press conference. It includes full funding of Pollavaram irrigation project, tax concessions and a special assistance. Andhra Pradesh, which financially suffered because of creation of separate state of Telengana in June 2014, will get a railway zone as also all cost incurred on the irrigation part of Pollavaram project from the date it was declared a National Project on April 1, 2014 will be funded by the Centre.