What is special category status to a State?
What is the difference between Special Status and Special Category Status to States?
» There is a huge difference between the terms ‘Special Status’ and ‘Special Category Status’
» Special status is guaranteed by the Constitution of India through an Act passed by the two-third majority in both houses of the Parliament, as in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, whereas Special Category Status is granted by the National Development Council (NDC), an administrative body of the government.
» Special Status empowers legislative and political rights while Special Category Status deals only with economic, administrative and financial aspects.
» The concept of a special category state was first introduced in 1969 when the 5th Finance Commission sought to provide certain disadvantaged states with preferential treatment in the form of central assistance and tax breaks.
» Initially three states Assam, Nagaland and Jammu & Kashmir were granted special status but since then eight more have been included (Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand).
» So, currently total 11 states enjoy the Special category status.
1. Arunachal Pradesh
3. Himachal Pradesh
4. Jammu and Kashmir
» The special status is given to states based on certain parameters. Which are
· Low resource base
· Hilly and difficult terrain
· Low population density
· Sizable share of tribal population
· Hostile location
» The benefits that a state gets under the provision of being a 'special state' are -
· Preferential treatment in getting Central funds assistance
· Concession on excise duty, this attracts industries to the state
· Significant 30% of the Centre’s gross budget goes to the Special category states
· These states avail themselves of the benefit of debt swapping and debt relief schemes
· In centrally sponsored schemes and external aid special category states get it in the ratio of 90% grants and 10% loans, while other states get 30% of their funds as grants.
· The Gadgil formula is related to transfer of assistance to the states by center under various schemes
· This formula was formulated with the formulation of the fourth five-year plan for the distribution of plan transfers amongst the states.
· It was named after D. R. Gadgil, then deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.
· The central assistance provided for in the first three plans and annual plans of 1966–1969 lacked objectivity in its formulation and did not lead to equal and balanced growth in the states. The National Development Council (NDC) approved the following formula:
» Special Category states like Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland were given preference. Their needs should first be met out of the total pool of Central assistance.
» The remaining balance of the Central assistance should be distributed among the remaining states on the basis of the following criteria:
1. 60 per cent on the basis of population;
2. 7.5 per cent on the basis of tax effort, determined on the basis of individual State's per capita tax receipts as percentage of the State's per capita income;
3. 25 per cent on the basis of per capita state income, assistance going only to States whose per capita incomes are below the national average;
4. 7.5 per cent for special problems of individual states.
How many states have special status in India?
How many special category states are there in India?
The special status was granted to Assam, Nagaland, and Jammu & Kashmir. Subsequently, eight more states - Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura, and Uttarakhand - were included in the special status category. As many as 11 states fall under the category.
See also:· Important Sessions of Indian National Congress