Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced a six-point development package for successor states of Andhra Pradesh including grant of special category status including tax incentives to Seemandhra.
Announcing a host of measures for the two states, the Prime Minister said amid unprecedented din in Rajya Sabha that tax incentives will be offered to promote industrialisation and economic growth in both the states, on the lines of those extended to some other states. A protective cordon was thrown around Singh by Congress members as members from Seemandhra region as also those from TMC and Shiv Sena stormed the Well with TMC members even tearing papers and throwing them on the floor.
Intervening in the debate on the crucial Telangana Bill, Singh assured the members that the Centre will execute the Polavaram irrigation project at the earliest. "Our government will execute the Polavaram project...let there be no doubt about it," Singh said. He said for purposes of Central assistance, Special Category Status will be extended for a period of five years to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh comprising 13 districts.
These will include the four districts of Rayalaseema and three districts of north coastal Andhra to put the state's finances on a firmer footing, he said.
Singh noted that the Bill already provided for a special development package for backward regions of successor state of Andhra Pradesh, in particular for the districts of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. He said this development package will be on the lines of the KBK (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) Special Plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand special package in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister assured that the appointed day for formation of the new state will be so fixed in relation to the notified date so as to enable preparatory work relating to personnel, finance and distribution of assets and liabilities to be completed satisfactorily."I hope these additional announcements will demonstrate our steadfast commitment to not just the creation of Telangana but also to the continued prosperity and welfare of Seemandhra," Singh noted.
The Prime Minister noted that the resource gap arising in the successor state of Andhra Pradesh in the very first year will be compensated in the Regular Union Budget for 2014-15. This gap may arise during the period between the appointed day and the acceptance of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations by the Government of India.
Singh said he has listened carefully to views expressed by the Leader of Opposition and all other members, especially from Andhra Pradesh and the Home Minister has already mentioned specific steps the Government will take to address concerns of all regions of the state, particularly of Seemandhra.