Lok Satta

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 12:23

Extension of special category status to AP Welcome, but not enough: Dr. JP

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The Loksatta Party today expressed satisfaction over the Union Government and the Planning Commission fulfilling the solemn commitment made by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Parliament on according special category status to residuary Andhra Pradesh following its bifurcation.

In a media statement, Dr. JP recalled that it was the Loksatta Party which had proposed grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The status was warranted since residuary Andhra Pradesh would start off with a significant revenue deficit with the loss of Hyderabad and the huge revenue it generates. Most industries and businesses are concentrated in Hyderabad. If industry is to be promoted in residuary Andhra Pradesh exemptions in corporate income tax and excise duties have to be extended on par with those in special category States like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Backward regions like north coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema deserve special assistance for improving infrastructure and combating poverty.

Dr. JP said that mere extension of special category status to residuary Andhra Pradesh for five years is not enough. The Union Government has to meet Andhra Pradesh’s revenue deficit for 10 years. Tax exemptions should be extended to all new industrial units to be set up in the next ten years and not five years, and the units should be enabled to enjoy tax exemptions for 20 years.

Dr. JP would like the new Government in Andhra Pradesh to focus on improving infrastructure, stimulating investment and encouraging productive activities. If precious resources are squandered on unproductive, populist and short-term sops, the State will be forgoing a golden opportunity to unveil a bright future for its youth.