Jaitley non-committal on legal sanctity to special package


Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley being felicitated at a meeting in Vijayawada on Friday.— PHOTO: V. RAJU

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s plans to mount pressure on the Centre on according legal sanctity to the special package and liberal assistance apparently did not yield the desired result with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley maintaining silence.

Mr. Jaitley merely reiterated what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a year ago when he laid the foundation stone for Capital city Amaravati.

He did not give any commitment on exemption from capital gains tax to the farmers who parted with their lands under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) for the capital city.

“Mr. Chandrababu Naidu would not be left alone in the mammoth task of building the Capital city and developing the State. The A.P. Reorganization Act would be implemented in letter and spirit,” Mr. Jaitley said after laying the foundation stone for the AP Administrative Complex at Rayapudi village in Guntur district on Friday.

Guntur MP Galla Jayadev and Tadikonda MLA Tenali Sravan Kumar brought the capital gains tax issue to Mr. Jaitley’s notice. He, however, said: “I will take a sympathetic view of it, after returning to Delhi.”

The Chief Minister flagged the people‘s concern about the rejection of Special Category Status (SCS) and the offering of special package in its place. The SCS had turned out be a “sentimental issue,” Mr. Naidu said.

The Union Minister did not respond to the request of legal sanctity to the special package.

As it began to pour heavily suddenly, Mr. Naidu wound up his speech abruptly extending Deepavali greetings.

Earlier, Mr. Jaitley simply read out the list of educational institutions sanctioned and assistance extended to the State. Though not in so many words, Mr. Jaitley said the Chief Minister was capable of constructing the capital on his own.

“Mr. Naidu is going around the globe wooing the investors. The credit of developing Hyderabad into a global city goes to Mr. Naidu and I am sure he can build a world-class city here.” The Centre would also extend all possible assistance for the development of the State. “Amaravati will become one of the finest cities and AP is poised to reach great heights in the future.”

Mr. Chandrababu Naidu hoped that Mr. Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu would ensure that Andhra P.radesh would get much more than what the SCS was expected to give.

Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said critics would obviously look for an opportunity to do their job but the Central government had no intention to renege on its commitments.