Hyderabad: Industrialists have expressed doubts over the possibility of awarding Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh as the 9th Finance Commission did away with it. However, if awarded, it should be extended to Telangana as well as otherwise it would be a major jolt to the country’s youngest state, they stated. AP did not meet the eligibility criterion and in case it was awarded, it would not only jeopardise the ongoing development in Telangana but also disturb the level playing field in south India, they said.
SCS is given to states meeting certain conditions such as hill terrain, tribal population and sensitive borders. Any move to favour a particular state by giving undue advantages over other states is not good for the nation, said Telangana Industrialists’ Federation. K Sudhir Reddy, President, TIF, said “AP does not fit into the eligibility criterion. If AP is given SCS, then it should be extended to Telangana also, which has more tribal population and all districts barring Hyderabad are backward in terms of development.”
Arun Luharka, President FTAPCCI, ruled out any possibility of special status to AP. Mr. Luharka said “The Lok Sabha saw a no confidence motion just because of AP. Then where is the question of granting such status to AP. It is very unlikely to happen; as per the 9th Finance Commission’s recommendations special status cannot be given to any state. So, it is an unnecessary discussion without any meaning.”
Gowra Srinivas, immediate past president of FTAPCCI, opined that migration of industries to AP would take place if special status is granted. “It is true that migration of industries will be a reality if SCS is given to AP. In 2014 also, we had a similar problem when Tamil Nadu demanded SCS. Other states either demanded SCS or turned against the granting of such status to any other state. However, granting of SCS for AP will be a major problem for TS because a majority of the industrialists are from AP. However, a five-year time period may not be sufficient for relocation of industries.” Srinivas opined.
Srikanth Badiga, President of IACC, said “We need to look at this issue in a holistic manner. The Constitution says that SCS is given under certain conditions. Because of expected amendments to the Constitution there may be pressure on the Centre. The central government is ready to give a special package. However, it is more political now.”...