Centre has no role in granting special status to states: Pranab

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that it was up to the National Development Council and not the Central government to decide on the special category classification for states.

Only 10 states in India, seven of them in the North-East, enjoy that status because of their specific problems.

Mukherjee who is in Goa to campaign was asked why the Congress had failed to grant Goa the special category status, a demand that comes up at every election since the state’s liberation in 1961. “That decision does not depend on the Central government but the National Development Council which is represented by chief ministers of all states and central ministers,” he said.

Goa’s concerns had been largely addressed in the 13th Finance Commission, he said. Since this state had missed out on two five-year plans, its allocation had been scaled up from Rs 1,724 cr in the 12th Commission to Rs 4372 cr in the 13th FC, an increase of 153 per cent.
Mukherjee reiterated the Congress campaign mantra in Goa, saying a mandate for his party would ensure continuity, stability and development.

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