After facing tough questions from the Opposition in Parliament over the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the government said on Friday that it would not grant special status to the State.
At a short-duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on whether the government was interested in implementing the Act, which led to the creation of Telangana, as promised by the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that instead of allotting it a special constitutional entitlement, the government would “handhold" Andhra Pradesh until it became economically stable. This caused uproar, with Congress members staging a walkout.
While Mr. Jaitley acknowledged that Andhra Pradesh lost revenue after Telangana was carved out of it in 2014, he said the Centre had limited resources and it would do its “best" to improve the economic condition of the State.
“As far as our commitment to honour each one of these commitments is concerned, it is absolute; there are no ifs and buts. Forty-two per cent of the Central revenue goes to States. The rest 58% has to take care of defence, salaries, loans... We also have to support Central schemes. After that, the Central government has a deficit. This year, it is 3.9%," Mr. Jaitley said.