Special Status necessary for Atmanirbhar Andhra: Jagan

New Delhi:
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and emphasised on the importance to accord the ‘Special Category Status’ to the state for it to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) and systematically stronger.

Reddy on Thursday said special status, a bifurcation promise reneged on by the central government, would entitle the majorly agrarian state to more Central grants, resulting in proportional reduction of the financial burden on Andhra Pradesh.

The Chief Minister highlighted that special status will facilitate the creation of jobs on the back of new industries and also help attain financial self-reliance, propelled by an enhanced tax base.

He urged the Home Minister to sanction financial assistance for 13 medical colleges and informed him that Rs 3,299 crore subsidy for PDS rice is yet to be released by the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies for the state.

Reddy appealed to Shah to release the pending dues of Rs 4,653 crore and enhance the annual person days of work per family from 100 days to 150 days by the Ministry of Rural Development.

Besides, the CM asked him to release the pending dues of Rs 530 crore towards rural local bodies grants from the 14th Finance Commission, including Rs 497 crore for the financial year 2020 – 21 pertaining to the 15th Finance Commission.

Reddy also asked for support to rejuvenate and make the state power sector more robust by surrendering costly thermal power allocation of Kudgi & Valluru (M/s NTECL) plants, supporting Telangana Discoms under Atmanirbar programme by extending conditional loans and restructuring debts.

Incidentally, AP power utilities are burdened with outstanding high cost debts of Rs 50,000 crore. In view of these debts, Reddy requested for appropriately restructuring them, including providing financial assistance for a reverse pumped storage project in Upper Sileru.

The Chief Minister asked Shah to give assent to AP Disha Bills encompassing Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Bill, 2019, Andhra Pradesh Disha (Special Courts for Specified Offences against Women and Children) Bill, 2020 and Andhra Pradesh Land Titling Authority Bill 2020.

Reddy also urged the Home Minister to establish a Central Tribal University within the tribal sub plan area.