Formerly in power in Andhra Pradesh, the TDP, and the newly elected YSR Congress have been passionately contesting the center’s decision to grant Andhra Pradesh Special Category Status. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were created out of the state in 2014. Then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh orally committed to granting Special Category Status. The NDA government that took office later made similar promises but fell short of keeping them entirely.
What is special category status?
The constitution doesn’t mention SCS at all. But the centre had developed SCS to assist historically underprivileged states. The National Development Council approved it. The NDC conferred this status based on the states’ steep and challenging terrain, low population density or existence of sizable tribal populations, and important location along international boundaries. Additionally, the unavailability of State finances is covered together with economic and infrastructure backwardness.
With the issuance of SCS, several benefits and concessions cannot be covered in this article due to the length. Abolished by the 14th Finance Commission was the practice of granting new states SCS status.
Should Andhra Pradesh be granted this status?
SCS grants have already been discontinued, as the 14th Finance Commission recommended. Instead, by awarding monetary equivalents of the SCS, the centre has pledged to uphold its obligations.
Additionally, Andhra Pradesh is not entirely qualified to receive the SCS. It does not meet any of the aforementioned requirements.
AP has expanded more rapidly than Telangana since the split. The average annual growth rates for AP and Telangana in 2013–2014 and 2017–2018 are 9.9% and 8.6%, respectively. Additionally, several other indices show that AP has been outperforming Telangana.
To create its new capital, AP will need to invest heavily, hence the cooperation of the federal government is required.