Visakhapatnam, January 29: Former minister and YSR Congress Party leader Konathala Ramakrishna has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accord Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh as it is the only way to put the state on the path of rapid development and it alone would ensure a level playing field with other states.
In a letter to the prime minister, he demanded that an announcement to this effect be made in the budget session of the Parliament, beginning on January 31.
Stating that the special package announced last year is nothing but the funds that are routinely coming to the state, he told Modi that he is misinformed that the people are satisfied with the package.
Ramakrishna suggested to the PM to hold his radio show Mann ki Baat in an interactive manner exclusively with the people of AP, to personally know their feelings.
On behalf of the one crore people of Uttarandhra (north coastal Andhra), Ramakrishna demanded that under Article 46 (3) of the AP Reorganisation Act, Rs. 15,000 crores Special Financial Package be announced for the region.
“Declare income tax and central excise tax holiday for the seven backward districts of Uttarandhra and Rayalaseema for at least ten years to promote economic and manufacturing activity, which would generate employment opportunities in these two regions,” he wrote.
The former minister also urged Modi to announce the formation of an Autonomous Council for Uttarandhra on the lines of those that exist in the North East states.
He also wanted Visakhapatnam to be made separate railway zone as promised under the AP Reorganisation Act.