Saturday, March 31, 2018

Experts to quantify aid to AP under SCS

Need to de-construct SCS to resolve stalemate: IGE members

Hyderabad: The Independent Group of Experts constituted to study the current status of fulfilment of commitments made by the Government of India to Andhra Pradesh under the AP State Reorganisation Act have resolved that there is need to de-construct the demand for Special Category Status into various components.

“The SCS is not a mantra. One party says they want it at any cost and the other rejects it outright. But, if the ‘Mantra’ is broken up into its specific components, it could be resolved easily. Except the tax concessions, the other components are not contentious and a solution can be figured out,” said Jayaprakash Narayan, Founder of Lok Satta and general secretary, Foundation for Democratic Reforms (FDR) who presided over the meeting.

The members of IGE, who held their first meeting under the aegis of FDR at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies here on Friday, looked into various commitments made to AP on financial assistance and development projects.

It decided to consult a team of experts from the CESS - Radhakrishna, Galab, and others economists to quantify the assistance the State would have obtained if it was a Special Category Status.

The demands include bridging revenue deficit of ₹13,434 crore of which GoI paid only ₹4,118 crore, backward area fund similar to Bundelkhand package, special central assistance with 90% grant from the Centre, and resolving anomalies on taxation matters totalling ₹3,820 crore.

It was also decided to consult a team of jurists and tax experts about provision of Section 50 of the AP State Reorganisation Act to extend compensation to AP for the tax arrears to be collected at the place of assessment, that is Hyderabad.

The meeting was attended by Justice M.N. Rao, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh and former Chairperson of National Commission on Backward Classes, retired IPS officers Anjaneya Reddy and H.J. Dora, 14th Finance Commission member M. Govinda Rao, K. Padmanabhaiah, former Union Home Secretary P. Chengal Reddy, Secretary General Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations, K. Sujatha Rao, former Union Health Secretary and others.

“In another 10 days, the committee of experts will submit the report based on the available data and seek time from the GoI to present our report for a rational and logical resolution of AP’s demands without getting into politics of it”, he said.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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