Pranab Mukherjee rules out special status to Goa

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Pranab Mukherjee
Panaji, Feb 27: Ruling out the possibility of a special status to Goa, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that no new state would be added to the special category.

"Special category status does not depend on Centre. Decisions on such matter are taken in National Development Council (NDC) which comprises of all Chief Ministers and Union Cabinet ministers," he said at a press conference here.

"So far, it is the decision of NDC that no new state will be added to special category. States can always be entitled to special assistance," he said.

Goa has been demanding special status category on par with the one given to North Eastern states.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had during a 2007 election rally promised special status to the state. She, however, had refused to comment on issue during her recent rally.

Mukherjee said that Goa, which has missed two five year plans, has been provided special assistance.

"We are providing special assistance to the state so that large number of projects could be implemented," he said, adding that the state was also exposed to institutions like World Bank.

Mukherjee said Goa was given Rs 1,727 crore as part of the 12th Five Year Plan.

"The assistance has been increased to Rs 4,372 crore in the 13th Five Year plan, which is 153 percent more than the earlier plan," he added.

PTI

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