It is official. The Centre on Tuesday finally made it categorical that there is no question of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, come what may and that no additional assistance would be given other than what was earlier agreed upon.
What is worse, the Centre has humiliated the state government saying had not shown accounts even for a single rupee for the money released till date.
“It is not possible to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh, just because of it has been made a sentimental issue. We cannot succumb to pressures from political parties agitating in Delhi and elsewhere,” Union finance minister Arun Jaitely is learnt to have told a delegation of the TDP MPs.
He also ruled out granting tax incentives to industries as is being given to already existing special category states like north-east stats and Himalayan states.
“It is not possible to grant whatever you demand, as there are no funds with the Centre. We need to allocate funds to the Defence needs of the country,” Jaitely told the MPs harshly.
He said except what was agreed earlier as part of special financial package, such as reimbursement of revenue deficit and assistance for externally aided projects, the Centre would not be able to give anything extra.
What is more humiliating to the TDP delegation was that the finance department said it had granted Rs 12,500 crore to Andhra Pradesh in the last three and a half years, but the state had not produced accounts even for expenditure of a single rupee.
“Unless the state submits accounts for the earlier releases, no fresh funds would be released to the state,” the department said.