Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that his BJP has always been for justice to Andhra Pradesh ever since its bifurcation and the central government is gradually fulfilling commitments made to Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation while new demands are being looked into.
He said that many works related to the state's development were "at a very advanced stage" and that various central ministries have been asked to look into and take "early decisions" related to various demands of the state.
"When the state was bifurcated into Andhra and Telangana (in 2014), we were amongst the members who had strongly felt that as a result of bifurcation, some justice has to be done to the residuary Andhra Pradesh state because it was going to lose large part of its revenue," Jaitley said in Rajya Sabha before replying to the debate on Budget.
MPs from Andhra Pradesh cutting across party lines agitated in both Houses of Parliament demanded "justice" for their state and the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act in its "true spirit" throughout the first part of the Budget session and even disrupted Parliament over it.
"There were several commitments which were made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act in this House and before the state government and some of them have been implemented, some work is in progress. Many institutions have been created in Andhra Pradesh since most earlier institutions went to Telangana," Jaitley said.
The Finance Minister said that the money for the creation of state capital has been given, apart from aid to backward districts and that funding is being done for Polavaram through NABARD.
This is a continuous process and work will not be allowed to stop at any stage," Jaitley said.
He said that the central government had agreed to give special assistance to the government of Andhra Pradesh for five years.
"Earlier, this assistance was to be given by externally aided programmes. However, in January, the state government suggested an alternative method and discussion on the alternative method have reached a very advanced stage and a solution is likely to be finalised very soon," he said.
"With regard to the revenue deficit, for the year 204-15, 10 months of that year, a sum of Rs 3,979.50 crore has already been given. A resolution with regard to determination about the final amount payable, has been discussed and currently discussions are on and difference in perception has narrowed down," Jaitley told the upper house.
He said that regarding other issues such as Rajapatnam port, integrated steel plant in Kadapa district, petroleum cracker complex, separate railway zone at Vizag or Vizag-Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor etc, all "the ministries concerned" have been asked to look into these matters and to "take an early decision with regard to each one of these areas".
"So, it is work in progress at a very advanced stage," Jaitley said.