New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that the entre was sympathetically working on all issues concerning Andhra Pradesh and a decision on a special package would be finalised over next few days.
Jaitley, who was replying to the debate on the general budget for 2017-18 in the Lok Sabha, told agitating members from Andhra Pradesh including those from the ruling Telugu Desam Party, an NDA constituent, that a package was promised to the people of Andhra after Telangana was carved out of it, and while several parts of the package had been implemented, some work was being done.
Many institutions had gone to Telangana and funds have been given to several institutions being created in Andhra Pradesh and will “continue to be given as these are built (further),” he said, adding that the Central government has made some payments for backward districts development and was also assisting in the Polavaram project.
Jaitley said the state wants the amount in lieu of special package to come as externally aided projects. “The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh wrote to me saying that this should be given through Nabard,” he said.
He said an arrangement has been worked out and the officers of the state have to inform the Expenditure Department about their acceptability.
Jaitley said the government will expedite it “as soon as we get the consent of state government”.
Referring to the state’s demand concerning revenue deficit, he said it was expecting more and the Central government was trying to bridge the gap.
“It will be worked out in the course of next couple of days,” he said.
On the issues pertaining to Railway and Petroleum Ministries, he said the government was in discussion with them and “our friends from Andhra Pradesh” to try to find out the best solution.
“We will try and do it extremely early. We are very sympathetic to the people of Andhra Pradesh and would look into each one of these issues expeditiously,” he said.
Jaitley, who faced interruptions from Congress members over his remarks pertaining to Rafale fighter aircraft deal, had to tell the protesting members from Andhra Pradesh to come near him to listen.
The two houses on Thursday continued to witness protest from the members of the TDP and YSR Congress over demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh and other financial benefits to the state.
In Lok Sabha, members of the two parties again staged separate protests, forcing a brief adjournment during Question Hour while the Rajya Sabha witnessed pandemonium over the issue even as the attempts to resolve the issue by Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu failed.