Will honour all commitments made to Andhra: Jaitely

Vijayawada, Oct 28 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday reiterated that the Centre will honour all commitments made to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh.

“Go with your head held high and tell the people that we will do more than what has been promised,” Jaitely told BJP workers at a meeting here.

He said a strong government at the Centre and “extremely efficient” government in the state will work together to ensure all-round development of Andhra Pradesh and development of its world-class capital city.

Jaitely advised the Bharatiya Janata Party workers to counter the opposition propaganda over the special category status to Andhra.

He said while the status could not be given due to constitutional glitch, the Centre ensured that the state get the same monetary benefit.

The minister said the only advantage the state could have got with the status was 90 per cent funds for central projects.

“We will, however, pay an equivalent amount through externally aided projects,” he said.

Jaitley questioned why the past Congress governments at the Centre did not do much for Andhra Pradesh.

Comparing figures regarding the central funds given to the state, he said Rs 34,978 crore was given through the Finance Commission from 2004 to 2009.

It got anotehr Rs 69,298 crore between 2009 and 2014, he said.

Jaitely said the state will get Rs 2,03,174 crore in five years of the Modi government.

“We also promised in the Act (Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014) that till the state becomes revenue surplus, we will give money every year (to bridge revenue deficit),” he said.

Jaitley said about 25 institutions were allotted to the state in the past two-and-a-half-years, including an Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Information Technology and an Indian Institute of Science.

In addition, he said, Steel Authority Of India Ltd and Indian Oil Corp Ltd are planning projects in Andhra Pradesh and there is a special focus on the development of airports at Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and other locations.

On the Polavaram irrigation project, Jaitley assured that the project will be completed with central funds and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has been asked to look into the project funding.

–IANS

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