VIJAYAWADA: Even as the TDP is intensifying its agitations for special category status, the Centre once again made it clear that it could not meet AP’s demand because of opposition from the 14th Finance Commission. This fuelled a war of words once again between the two parties with both of them criticising each other for letting down the people of the State. The AP government will on Friday discuss the issue in the State cabinet meeting.
Responding to a petition filed by Telangana Congress MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, the Union Finance Ministry submitted an affidavit stating that though the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha assured that AP would get special category status for five years, the 14th Finance Commission did not distinguish between States enjoying SCS and those without it and the Centre would fill the revenue deficit.
The affidavit filed by Jitender Kumar, Director (PF/S) on behalf of the Finance Ministry also said that the Centre extended Rs 2,500 crore to AP for building capital city, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, the petitioner said.The affidavit reached Sudhakar Reddy on Wednesday. “The Centre in its affidavit said that it had extended Rs 3,900 crore to fill the revenue deficit to the State, which had a deficit of Rs 16,000 crore when it was formed. The affidavit also mentioned that Rs 2,500 crore was given for the capital. The court was informed that the Centre gave Rs 1,000 crore for canals in Guntur and Vijayawada and Rs 1,500 crore for constructing capital and Rs 1,000 crore will be released soon according to the affidavit,’’ minister Kaluva Srinivasulu said.