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Jairam Ramesh clarifies SCS for AP is for 5 years only & purely temporary

Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:33 AM
Opening the discussion on the Private Member Bill of the Elder KVP Ramachandra Rao of the Congress on Thursday night, Jairam Ramesh said only 2 of the six recommendations made under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act have been implemented and four, including the Special Category Status to AP, remained to be implemented.

Jairam pointed out that when the Manmohan Singh government sought to put successor State's finances on a firmer footing, it was present Union Minister (then in Opposition), Venkaiah Naidu, got up and said the Special Category Status should be not for 5 but 10 years. His ground was `We are going to come to power.'

The SCS was recommended in order to make avialable tax incentives for industrialisation of the remnant State. A special development package for Rayalaseema was also recommended.

Jairam clarified that the SCS for AP was a temporary one for 5 years to enable it to recover from the revenue loss owing to the division of the State unlike the permanent SCS available for Korapur-Bolangir-Kalhandi area in Orissa or for the border states. It was purely temporary so it cannot be equated with the SCS available to States with more than 40% SC/ST population or those with hilly terrain such as Uttarakhand or the border States.

Further amendments should be made to the Act so that Polavaram could be completed at the earliest.

Jairam frequently intervened during the long discussion, making it clear that the SCS for AP was not on a par with SCS being implemented in other States.

This led to the banter that while as Minister in the Congress government he had drafted the AP Bill, at present by his interventions he was acting as Union Minister now also.

In fact, Jairam was the pet of the Chair all through, with the banter that he should be made Union Minister now.

When the Chair, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien took the fort midway through the discussion, the first question he had asked (very audibly) his turbaned aide in Hindi was `Jairam Ramesh kitni der baat kiya?'
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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