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Drug money has started flowing into AP: Chandrababu

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today claimed that “drug money” has started flowing into the state.

“Now we are getting drug money. There are lots of drug addicts in the cities,” he said when the issue of black money came up for discussion during a press conference he addressed along with NITI Aayog vice-chairman Aravind Panagariya here.

When Panagariya pointed out that in the US cashless transactions were introduced to check drug money, Chandrababu claimed that the state too is getting drug money these days but did not elaborate on that.

On the Centre’s reported move to introduce currency note of Rs 2,000 denomination at a time when the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is pitching for abolition of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Panagariya said, “It is for the RBI to take a call.”

The Chief Minister said he requested the Prime Minister to abolish Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes to root out black money and also electoral malpractices (buying of votes).

To another question, Panagariya said the Centre has initiated a lot of steps to unearth black money and the recent income disclosure scheme is one such measure.

Earlier, the NITI Aayog team, led by Panagariya and CEO Amitabh Kanth, held discussions with the Chief Minister and Andhra Pradesh officials on the proposed Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) in the state.

Chandrababu gave a detailed presentation on various development activities undertaken by his government to boost the economy and the strides being made on the industrial and other fronts.

He said Andhra Pradesh has the wherewithal for establishing CEZs and the right atmosphere for investment and other logistics.

“It will go a long way. Many clusters will come up,” the Chief Minister said, making a strong case for setting up of CEZs.

The NITI Aayog has lauded the CORE (CM Office Realtime Executive) Dashboard, where all government activities and development projects are monitored on a realtime basis.

Later, the NITI Aayog team conducted an aerial survey of the capital region Amaravati. Chief Secretary Satya Prakash Tucker and other top officials accompanied them.