Cabinet resolution is not enough, Chalasani Srinivas

DARA GOPI

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Intellectuals Forum convener Chalasani Srinivas here on Friday said that the Cabinet approval of the packages which are part of the AP Reorganisation Act 2014 was not enough to thank the Central government.

Speaking to media persons, Srinivas said that package to the backward districts and Polavaram Project were part of the Act and there was no need for the Cabinet to approve them again. The Central government has the responsibility to go by the provisions of the Act, he said. He further added that the people of the State were expecting the Central government to give special category status to the State as promised or give funds to the State on the lines of the funds given to the states having the special category status, when the State was bifurcated.

He recalled how the Central Cabinet led by the UPA government had made a similar resolution on March 2, 2014 giving special category status to the State. However, the Cabinet decision did not turn into a reality, he said. He wanted the Central government to ensure that the present decision of the Cabinet is converted into reality and the State gets the required funds at the 90:10 ratio.

Srinivas said that the four Rayalaseema districts and the three north Andhra districts were due to receive Rs 24,000 crore while the Center had given just Rs 50 crore each to the seven districts. Unfortunately this amount too was made part of the package though it was part of the Reorganisation Act. There was no need for the Cabinet to mention the provisions of the Act and claim them as the special package, he asserted. He further said that the Central government was also giving the same amount to the 10 districts of Telangana State and the funds were nothing special and nothing specific to Andhra Pradesh.

He wanted the government to give legal sanctity to the tax relief and other benefits to the State that were part of the special category status given to the 11 States as on February 20, 2014. He asked the State and the Central governments to get these benefits approved by the Cabinet and a GO is issued subsequently.

He recalled the provision of the Reorganisation Act on completing the major Port at Dugarajapatnam by 2018 and regretted that not a single step was made to honour the Act. He also took a dig at both the BJP and the TDP governments for not fulfilling the promise of filling the revenue gap for the State and extending complete financial support for the new capital. The first year’s revenue gap is not filled yet by the Center, he said and wondered what made the State government to thank the Central government.

Srinivas appealed to the leaders of all political parties and the general public to raise their voice for the special category status or the equal financial benefits. He wanted every individual from the State to get ready for a greater battle with the State and the Central governments to get the promises fulfilled and the provisions of the Act implemented.

The forum leaders G V Satyanarayana Raju and Donepudi Shankar were also present at the news conference.

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