MPs in the Upper House had a long debate over the controversial Telangana Bill, Rajya Sabha passed the bill over voice votes. Amendments were discussed as the bill was passed.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six point development package for the successor states of Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha. Seemandhra has been given special category for five years.
The following are the six points that the PM put forward:
- Special Category Status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh comprising 13 districts, including the four districts of Rayalaseema and the three districts of north coastal Andhra for a period of five years. This will put the state's finances on a firmer footing.
- The Bill already stipulates that the Central Government shall take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives to the successor states in order to promote industrialization and economic growth in both the states. These incentives will be along the lines extended to some other states.
- The Bill already provides for a special development package for the backward regions of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, in particular for the districts of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. This development package will be on the lines of the K-B-K (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) Special Plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand special package in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
- If any further amendments are needed to facilitate smooth and full Rehabilitation & Resettlement(R&R) for the Polavaram project, they will be given effect to at the earliest. Our government will execute the Polavaram project--let there be no doubt about it.
- The appointed day for the formation of the new State will be so fixed in relation to the notified date so as to enable preparatory work relating to personnel , finance and distribution of assets and liabilities to be completed satisfactorily.
- The resource gap that may arise in the successor state of Andhra Pradesh in the very first year, especially during the period between the appointed day and the acceptance of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations by the Government of India, will be compensated in the Regular Union Budget for 2014-15.
"I am extremely concerned that till this moments we have not been able to address the concerns of Seemandhra looking upon us and the govt in particular. Deeply disappointed at the manner in which the UPA government has gone through this entire exercise. My party's full support to the demand of creation for the state of Telangana," said BJP's Arun Jaitley.