Special Status : AP Assembly Passes Resolution

Special Status : AP Assembly Passes Resolution

Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed a resolution seeking Special Category Status to the state. Chief Minister and the leader of the house YS Jagan has moved the resolution seeking SCS to the state. The house has passed the resolution unanimously. Jagan Reddy said alternative to SCS - financial assistance - would not be accepted from the Centre and has sought the SCS.

Stating that the SCS is essential lifeline, Jagan sought the SCS with all financial benefits and industrial incentives without further delay. The resolution also sought the Centre to fulfill all provisions and assurances incorporated in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, in letter and spirit.

Heated Debate

The issue of the Special Category Status has created a heated debate between ruling YSRCP MLAs and Opposition TDP MLAs. YCP has blamed the previous government led by TDP for failing to get the SCS from the Centre although the latter had "agreed" to "grant" the status. The YCP members had targeted Chandrababu over his "u-turn" on Package and Special Category Status causing "confusion".

Hyd : Super Economic Powerhouse, AP : Poor Economy

"The Union cabinet that met on March 2, 2014, had resolved to accord the SCS to AP and instructed the then Planning Commission to take expeditious action to implement the decision. The assembly expresses its concern that due to lack of persuasion, the issue remained without any action in the Planning Commission until its abolition on January 1, 2015, when the Niti Aayog came into existence. The assembly expresses its firm opinion that there are no impediments whatsoever to conferring (the) SCS on Andhra Pradesh," the resolution said.

CM Jagan pointed out that the AP's revenue deficit in the past five years had shot up by thrice the amount estimated by the 14th Finance Commission. Jagan cited that the 14th Finance Commission had estimated that the post-devolution revenue deficit during 2015-20 would be Rs 22,113 crore and the revenue surplus for Telangana would be Rs 1,18,678 crore for the same period."But, it's a matter of deep concern that the revenue deficit in the past five years touched Rs 66,362 crore," Jagan said during the discussion on the resolution.

Jagan further said that while Hyderabad emerged as a "super-economic powerhouse" in the last few decades with software exports from the city alone touching Rs 56,500 crore, the present Andhra Pradesh essentially remained an agrarian state with low economic buoyancy. Jagan rued that the promises made in the Parliament during the state bifurcation in 2014 remained unfulfilled, leading to what he said was great financial and social distress.

According to Jagan, the debt burden of the state had shot up to Rs 2,58,928 crore in 2018-19 from Rs 97,000 crore in 2013-14. The interest on the debt alone was projected to be Rs 20,000 crore per annum, in addition to the repayment of principal to the tune of another Rs 20,000 crore. "The assembly is concerned that the employment-generating potential has dropped so drastically that our children are leaving the state scouting for jobs. The state requires super-specialty hospitals, five-star hotels, manufacturing industries, high-value service industries like information technology, premier institutions of higher education and research to transform the economic architecture of AP, which is possible only with the SCS," CM Jagan said.