Should AP be given special status?
Chandra babu naidu led TDP government has been drifting and unable to figure out if AP really wants special status or not.
Though the then Congress led central government has promised special status to AP considering the losses that occur once the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are seperated,the promise could not be fulfilled because of various circumstances.
After the bifurcation of state,TDP came into power and Chandra Babu became the CM.The people of AP were confident about special status as NDA in centre and TDP in state are allies.Surprisingly,after four years of drama,Chandra Babu came out of the alliance alleging that the centre has not been able to fulfill its promises.However,there are claims that the existing government of AP could not take a single stand on this issue.
What is special status?
Special category status is given to regions that are disadvantaged compared to other parts of the country.Jammu and Kashmir is the first state of India to be granted special status.
Parameters for special status:
- Hilly and difficult terrain
- Low population density
- Low resource base
- Strategic location along the borders of the country.
- Economic and infrastructure backwardness
- Non-viable nature of the state ‘s finances.
A sizable share of tribal population
Central finance minister Arun jaitley said that the centre is willing to fulfill all its promises except special status as it was ruled out by 14th finance commission.However, jaitley also said that the central government has granted 4000 crores as a substitute for special status to cover the financial deficit.
Let’s have a look at the benefits a state would enjoy if it’s given special status:
- 30 percent of centres gross budget goes to special category states.
- These states can avail schemes like debt relief schemes.
- Tax exemptions to attract investors.
- Other states get 30 percent of their funds as grants for all central government schemes while it is 90 percent grants and 10 percent loans as far as special category states are concerned.
On the other hand, Telangana state,the cousin of AP is arguing that if AP is granted special status,all its investors would obviously move to AP which would adversely affect the economy of the state and if AP is granted special status, Telangana should also be granted keeping in mind the future of both the states.
As the time of elections is approaching, this topic is being widely discussed and definitely would be a driving factor in the coming elections of both Andhra Pradesh and central government.