Chandrababu Naidu accuses Centre of diverting tax revenues from south to northern states
Reiterating that special category status was not only a sentiment but also the basic right of the people Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday accused the Centre of diverting the tax revenues collected from south to the development of northern states.
Speaking on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the state legislative council in Amaravati, Naidu made some strong comments against the Centre for allegedly neglecting the state. “There is nothing called Central money or state’s money. It’s the people’s money. The southern states contribute maximum tax revenues to the Centre, but the latter is diverting the money to the development of northern states,” he alleged.
The TDP chief wondered as to why the Centre was showing step-motherly attitude towards Andhra Pradesh. “Why is this discrimination? Is AP not part of the country? When industrial tax incentives and GST refunds are being given to others (north-east and Himalaya states), why can’t they be given to Andhra Pradesh, which had suffered a lot due to unscientific bifurcation?” Why can’t the Centre establish institutions like National Police Academy and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in our state?” he asked.
Naidu reiterated that the NDA government could not shirk its responsibility of giving special category status to the state because the Bharatiya Janata Party also had played a key role in the bifurcation of the combined state. “It is unfortunate that finance minister Arun Jaitely says special category status cannot be given to AP just because of people’s sentiment. Is it not true that combined state was bifurcated because of strong Telangana sentiment? If state can be divided on the basis of sentiment, why can’t be special category status given based on the same sentiment?” he asked.
The chief minister rejected the allegations of the BJP members that the state had not shown the accounts for the funds released by the Centre so far. “We have submitted utilisation certificates for all the major works to the Niti Ayog, which has acknowledged the same,” he said.
He said the State was not asking more than what was promised in the AP Reorganisation Act and said in Parliament by the previous government. “It is the responsibility of the Centre to honour all these commitments,” Naidu added.