The Asian Age

Spe­cial sta­tus for AP in doubt


Ar­gu­ing that the prom­ise of spe­cial cat­e­gory sta­tus to Andhra Pradesh is not part of the AP Re­or­gan­i­sa­tion Act, the Si­vara­makr­ish­nan Com­mit­tee has raised doubts on im­me­di­ate con­fer­ment of the cov­eted sta­tus on the resid­uary state as it ap­pre­hends se­vere op­po­si­tion to such a pro­posal from other states, in­clud­ing Te­lan­gana.

In its vo­lu­mi­nous re­port sub­mit­ted to the Union home min­istry last week, the com­mit­tee said it couldn’t be au­to­mat­i­cally as­sumed that the com­mit­ment of con­fer­ment of spe­cial cat­e­gory sta­tus will be ac­ti­vated in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture when it is needed the most.

In a sep­a­rate chap­ter, ti­tled “Im­por­tant Strate­gic Con­sid­er­a­tions Re­gard­ing Andhra Pradesh Fi­nances”, the com­mit­tee dwells on the de­mand for spe­cial cat­e­gory sta­tus and a com­mit­ment given by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh in the Ra­jya Sabha, and also its fea­si­bil­ity in the present sit­u­a­tion.

The com­mit­tee also con­cludes that Andhra Pradesh can­not be de­clared a spe­cial cat­e­gory state be­fore the 14th Fi­nance Com­mis­sion fi­nalises its re­port.

“The state­ment of the for­mer PM in the RS on Fe­bru­ary 20, 2014 is not a com­mit­ment made in the act. It will need to be rat­i­fied by the present ad­min­is­tra­tion. With­out a doubt, grant­ing of spe­cial cat­e­gory sta­tus is jus­ti­fied, de­sir­able and would go a very long way in mak­ing the fis­cal po­si­tion of AP com­pat­i­ble with present chal­lenges be­fore the state, in­clud­ing im­por­tantly the re­sources nec­es­sary to cre­ate a cap­i­tal,” the re­port said.

The panel added a caveat say­ing it can­not be au­to­mat­i­cally as­sumed this com­mit­ment will be ac­ti­vated in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

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