Special Category Status to a State in India
The special category status to various States is accorded by the NDC based on the consideration of special criteria.
These include hilly and difficult terrain; low population density and/or sizeable share of tribal population; strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries; economic and infrastructure backwardness and non-viable nature of State finances.
At present, the existing 11 special category status States are
Arunachal Pradesh,Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim.
All of the States of Single Digit number of Members of Parliament, that is Minimal Voice in Parliament and have got long-term, natural special characteristics that make the Sustainable Economic Viability, difficult for the State Governments.
India has suddenly seen competition from Major States of India vying for this special privilege due to the attractive soft central funding that includes :
- 90% grants:(against 70% for the General State) 10% loans formula for special-category states is restricted to centrally-sponsored schemes and external aid
- The special-category states get significant excise duty concessions, and thus help these states attract large number of industrial units to establish manufacturing facilities within their territory.
- They are given a higher share of the Union government’s resource allocation because of harsh terrain, backwardness and other social problems. All of them also happen to be border states.
Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Rajasthan-have been making this demand for the last 10 years, suddenly there is unexpected competition from what was considered leading state in India and both National Parties have done Advance commitment for strange political reasons throwing the entire exercise and criteria of Indian federal structure to the wind and that is from State of Andhra Pradesh and naturally the more backward newly established Telangana State too is demanding same with parity !
Below Slide from Presentation to planning commission of undivided State of Andhra Pradesh makes this whole matter more intriguing !!
In Telangana having 9 out of 10 Districts Covered by BGRF or BGRF&IAP
In Andhra Pradesh 7 out of 13 Districts Covered by BGRF or IAP or Both
Link to the Source is http://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/stateplan/Presentations13_14/andhra2013_14.pdf
While Central One Time Assistance to the State of Andhra Pradesh for the Capital Construction as has been the practice with all state formation is a must and honoring all special commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Re-organization Act 2014 is a must
There is certainly no case for either state to be clubbed with 11 Special Category Status India already has that have been rightly identified, it would be most irrational decision that will have far-reaching implications to the economy and federal structure of India..
Hope Prime Minister Modi sets aside the emotions and announcement made by the previous government under pressure in Rajya Sabha and acts with fairness and firmness for the good of India, Even though I am from Telangana, I do not believe we should take this route instead compete to develop ourselves and be the role model for aspiring states in India.