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.