N Chandrababu Naidu
N Chandrababu NaiduTwitter

Politicians, it seems, have realised that tangibles matter, not semantics.

Taking consolation in the fact that the Modi government will be giving a special package to Andhra Pradesh but not grant 'Special Category' status, the state chief minister Chandrababu Naidu says 'status' does not matter.

"Status is not a sanjivini (cure for all ailments)," said Naidu, after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday. Union finance minister Arun Jaitley was also present at the meeting. 

Naidu also took comfort that the state would be getting "more than expected" financial assistance for its overall development. The announcement of the package could come as early as next month.

Jaitley also echoed Naidu's viewpoint.

"What is in a name? It is the substance that matters and AP will get everything that has been promised and it will get even more," he said.

Apparently, the Centre's hands are tied when it comes to granting 'Special Status', given the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

Modi has asked Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya to prepare a roadmap to implement the assurances made to the state in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

"The Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya has been asked to be in touch with the officers of the state government and to prepare a roadmap with regard to enforcement of each one of the provisions," said Jaitley.

Modi also told Naidu that a financial package for the construction of new capital in the state will be "finalized soon."

During the 90 minute-long meeting, Naidu pressed the Centre to give a specific timeline regarding the fulfillment of promises made in the Act amid growing criticism from the opposition parties in the state.

Jaitley said that the state has already given Rs 2,300 crore to fill the state's revenue gap for the year 2014-15, besides releasing Rs 1,500 crore for building the state's new capital. 

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