'Finance commission has nothing to do with SCS'

N K Singh

Dashing the hopes of Andhra Pradesh on the issue of special category status (SCS) the Chairman of Finance Commission N K Singh on Thursday said that the commission has nothing to do with granting such status to the state.

Singh said this at a press conference in Amaravati on Thursday after concluding a meeting with state government led by Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
“The concept of SCS never emanated from any recommendations or any suggestion from finance commissions. SCS concept is the outcome of a decision by the National Development Council when the famous Mukherjee-Gadgil formula was announced. The implementation of the SCS was undertaken by the planning commission in conjunction with the ministry of finance. The SCS has nothing to do with the terms of reference of the Finance Commission, "Singh said adding, Therefore the question of whether we will give a consideration to it or not doesn’t form part of the terms of reference to the fifteenth  Finance  commission and  we would not like to cross the mandate as in the notification issued by the President of India. The gambit of Finance commission doesn’t include the issue of SCS."
When asked about why the NDA government has blamed fourteenth finance commission for its inability to accord SCS to AP, he said “I don’t wish to comment on why and how the central government did what they did.  What is factually correct is that the 14 Finance Commission said that they were not in favour of categorization of states and that they were really going to examine the fiscal condition of each state and it doesn’t believe that this kind of categorization was the most beneficial way forward. So it is not true that the 14 commission examined in depth the issue, the merits and the analysis on SCS, they only stated the factual position."
However, he praised Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s vision for Amaravati and interlinking of rivers. “The government has taken some key steps in harnessing its water resources by interlinking rivers, helping to increase agricultural productivity. CM has adopted technology to transform AP into a knowledge economy,” the chairman said.
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