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Will AP Ever Get Special Status?

At the time of bifurcation, it was widely reported that Andhra Pradesh would be accorded special status given the circumstances under which it was formed.

Venkaiah Naidu promised that all would be well and that Centre would provide special status to residual Andhra Pradesh.

Later, it was reported that Telangana would also be accorded special status alongside Andhra Pradesh.

Though it's been quite a few months since such stories emerged, AP hasn't been accorded special status. In fact, for now, the Centre seems to be in no mood to oblige Andhra Pradesh by providing special status to it.

Recently, Arun Jaitley presented the union budget, but no special provisions were made for the state. However, it was later announced that the Planning Commission was considering the matter.

Closer home, AP government has shown promising figures which indicate that the state is well off financially. In fact, it has been seen that the government did not face any major hurdles while paying salaries to employees in the past two months.

On the other hand, AP finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu has announced that he will be presenting the budget soon.

Let's consider a scenario where he will present a budget where he will propose investments up to Rs 1,00,000 crore. But if he shows such a large amount, it will entail there will be equally huge deficit. Since deficit budget is no good budget, it would be better if Yanamala clarifies how he intends to tackle the deficit. Also, deficit budget means more taxes and Yanamala surely would not want to levy more taxes at this point in time.

So, we come back to the question of how will finance minister present Rs 1,00,000 crore budget? One would assume that the state is generating such revenue.

But if Andhra Pradesh has the capacity to generate an humungous amount to the tune of Rs 1,80,000 crore, then the Planning Commission and Centre would think twice to accord special status to Andhra Pradesh.

In fact, they have a genuine problem as much smaller states than Andhra Pradesh would demand for special status if AP is accorded one.

Keeping all these factors in mind, the Centre is said to be contemplating announcing special packages for Rayalaseema and Uttarandhra instead of according special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh. If that happens, then poor Venkaiah Naidu is bound to lose face.

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