The Planning Commission on Friday said the proposal to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra) is under consideration but no decision has been taken as yet.
“The proposal to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh is still under consideration,” the Commission’s official spokesperson said, adding no decision, however, has been taken on this yet.
Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu spoke to Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh on special category status to Andhra Pradesh soon after the Planning Commission clarified that no decision had been taken denying the State the status.
Earlier in March, the Union Cabinet, headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had directed the Commission to accord the special category status to successor of Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra) for five years. Dr. Manmohan Singh had announced in the Rajya Sabha on February 21 that special category status would be extended to Seemandhra for five years.
Earlier in its presentation to Mr. Rao Inderjit Singh, the Commission said, “Andhra Pradesh does not meet National Development Council (NDC) criteria (for special category State).”
The special category status to various States is accorded by NDC based on consideration of a set criterion. The criteria 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.
About according special category status to Seemandhra, the Commission had recently pointed out in the presentation that any such proposal would have to be endorsed by the country’s apex planning body National Development Council (NDC) headed by the Prime Minister with Cabinet Ministers and all Chief Ministers on its board. Andhra Pradesh has been recently bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.