NEW DELHI: The Centre today said a "roadmap" for implementing key provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act would be prepared and a final view on granting special status to the state would be taken "reconciling" with the Finance Commission's recommendations.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated this after an over 90-minute meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here amid escalating pressure from the opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh on the demand for granting special status to the state as promised during bifurcation last year.
Briefing reporters, Jaitley said that NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya has been asked to discuss with the state government implementation of Sections 46, 90 and 94 of the Act related to Polavaram Irrigation Project, Finance Commission's award and fiscal measures. "The Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya has been asked to be in touch with the officers of the state government and to prepare a roadmap with regard to enforcement of each one of the provisions, which I have just mentioned in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, which are commitments of the whole country towards the growth and development of Andhra Pradesh," the Finance Minister said.
The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, officials from the PMO and finance ministry were also present during the meeting. While Section 46 pertains to the award made by the 13th Finance Commission, Section 90 relates to the Polavaram Irrigation Project and Section 94 deals with the fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives industrialisation and economic growth.
Asked about the demand for Special Category status for Andhra Pradesh, Jaitley replied, "All those options have been discussed and reconciling it with what the Finance Commission has said, Panagirya will be in touch with the officers and taking a final view on this."
Jaitley also said that the Prime Minister was of the view that the level of assistance assured in the Act should be given to the state government. "The Prime Minister was of the clear view that whatever is in the Act that level of assistance has to be given to the state government," the Finance Minister said.
The meeting between Modi and Naidu lasted for about one and half hours, Jaitley said. Earlier in the day, Andhra Pradesh Government's Special Representative in Delhi K Rama Mohana Rao said that Naidu has invited the Prime Minister to lay the foundation stone for the new capital city which is being constructed in Amravati.
"The foundation stone laying ceremony will be held on October 22 for which the Prime Minister is being invited," he said.
While CPI and various groups had organised a bandh in Andhra Pradesh to press for granting Special Status to the state on August 11, opposition YSRCP has called for a bandh on August 28.