Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while responding to a question raised by Kaushalendra Kumar, Janata Dal (United) Member of Parliament from Bihar, reiterated the centre’s stance on granting special status to Andhra Pradesh.
In a written reply, Sitharaman mentioned there is no proposal under consideration of the Central Government to grant Special Category Status. She stated that a number of features including hilly and difficult terrain, low population density or the presence of sizeable tribal population, strategic location along international borders, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of State finances are taken into consideration while taking a decision on granting SCS to any state.
“SCS for plan assistance has been granted in the party by the National Development Council to some states that are characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration. There is no proposal under consideration of the Central Government to grant of Special Category Status. The SCS for plan assistance granted by National Development Council does not provide for any special measure for growth of industries,” the Finance Minister wrote in her reply.
She further revealed that the centre had received requests from the states of Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, Telangana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
The Finance Minister’s stance comes as a setback to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has been claiming that his party would make several attempts in achieving the coveted status to the state.