Special Category Status For Any State Will Not Be Consider : Union Finance Minister
Union Finance Minister made it clear that the Centre will not consider demands for “special category status” for any state as the 14th Finance commission has clearly said no special status can be given.
- This comes as a blow to states like Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh which have been pushing for it for some years now.
- Special Category Status (SCS) is a classification given by the Centre to assist development of states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages.
- Constitution does not make a provision for SCS and this classification was later done on the recommendations of the Fifth Finance Commission in 1969.
- Status was first accorded to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland in 1969.
- SCS for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council of the erstwhile Planning Commission.
- Eleven States including Assam, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Telangana have been accorded the special category state status.
- Telangana, the newest State of India, was accorded the status as it was carved out of another state Andhra Pradesh.
- The 14th Finance Commission has done away with the ‘special category status’ for states, except for the Northeastern and three hill states.
- It suggested to fill the resource gap of such states through tax devolution by increasing it to 42% from 32%.
- SCS is different from Special status which imparts enhanced legislative and political rights, while SCS deals with only economic and financial aspects.
- For instance, J&K used to have Special status before Article 370 was repealed.