Special Status cannot be granted to AP : Arun Jaitley

ajUnion Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefs the media in Delhi over special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

He says, ” What is the implication of special status? The special status used to be originally granted to states in the North-East because they have their own resources that were inadequate. One of the promises was that Andhra Pradesh should be given special status. Provision for revenue deficit in case of Andhra Pradesh as per Finance Commission already made.

Special category status means that you get a 90-10 advantage, not 60-40. The Centre stands committed to it. The state has to tell us what manner it wants it in. At no stage has the Centre said that we will not give it? Andhra Pradesh was unwilling & Telangana wanted the division. Andhra was suffering in terms of resources. Therefore some help had to be given to AP. So one of the promises was, AP should be given special category status. At that time, special category state concept did exist. But, according to 14th Finance Commission, there is no special category status now to be given.

Sentiment does not decide the quantum of funds. Centre has repeatedly said that we are ready to give it.We are willing to satisfy every condition. The only variation is that after Finance Commission report instead of formally calling it a special category state, we are calling it a special package, which gives same monetary benefits that a special category state gives you.Revenue deficit is for only 10 months period. Tax concessions were already given in the first two years. Political issues cannot increase the quantum of money because Centre does not have free floating funds. Every state in India has a right to same Central funds in the same manner. I have been sympathetic to AP because I know it suffered due to bifurcation”, said Jaitley.