VIJAYAWADA:Contradicting the stance of Union Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh on the issue of grant of Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, Union Minsiter of State for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitaraman told newsmen here on Sunday that the NDA government at the Centre was committed to granting the special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
She added that the modalities for its implementation were still being worked out.
It may be noted that Singh had told the Lok Sabha on Friday that the NDA government could not grant speacial status to AP as the 14th Finance Commission had not recommended the same in view of the various other incentives being offered by the Centre to the truncated state.
Asserting that the Centre was extending the maximum financial assistance to AP, she added that it had so far sanctioned Rs 6,701.39 cr to the state in the form of grants, commercial loans and NSSF.
In this context, she mentioned that the Centre had granted Rs 500 cr to the AP government for the construction of the Assembly and the Raj Bhavan in its new capital and added that more funds would be allocated in a phased manner. Similarly, in the Railway Budget, AP was sanctioned 217.66 per cent more projects than all other states, she added.
Regarding the industrialization of AP, she said that the Centre had cleared the proposal for the establishment of the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial corridor, under which the Visakhapatnam-Kakinada, Gannavaram-Kankipadu and Srikalahasti-Yerpedu industrial clusters would be developed. The work on the corridor would commence as soon as the Asian Development Bank submitted its report, she added.
The Union minister said that the development of the Krishnapatnam port would be part of the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor.
She said that the Central government had waived a penalty of Rs 8.67 cr on the proposed Leather Park in Nellore district and instead would be giving Rs 3.53 cr for its development. While the Spices Park in Guntur had already been set up, Bheemavaram and Visakhapatnam would be developed as Places of Excellence for export of marine products. The Centre proposed to set up an international commerce centre at Madhurawada in Visakhapatnam, she added.
For the relief and rehabilitation of the Hudhud cyclone-affected people in the state, the Centre had given Rs 737.60 cr, she said.
BJP state secretary J Shyam Kishore and others were also present at the news conference.