Special category status to AP
Classification of states in to special and general category was initiated by the planning commission based on the following criteria.
- Hilly and difficult terrain
- Low population density ‘ sizeable share of tribal population
- Strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries
- Economic and infrastructure backwardness
- Non viable state finances
Special category status states used to get generous central assistance for plan purposes under the Gadgil Mukharjee formula. Here 30% of the assistance was earmarked to these states, 90% of it is given as a grant and 10% as loan.
Another benefit is special category status states get income tax and excise duty exemptions on investments.
12th finance commission has recommended for discontinuation of lending to the states by Centre and allowing them to borrow from the market.
14th finance commission has done away with distinction between Plan and non plan grants given under the Gadgil Mukharjee formula for state plan schemes. It got subsumed under the formula for tax devolution and grants. So, the benefit of higher central assistance due to special category status does not exist.
Issue of Andhra Pradesh
Special category status will not bring any special Benefits other than tax incentives. Central Government has already legislated the tax incentives in terms of additional investment allowance and accelerated depreciation.
Letting Nepal Be
Stable, strong and prosperous Nepal is in the best interests of India. India trying to interfere and micro manage the affairs of Nepal can increase the antagonism against India. So, India shall leave the constitutional and other questions of Nepal to its own People. India shall move towards the geo physical sensitivity from the geo strategic sensitivity. Nepal’s increasing connectivity with Tibetan Plateau can also benefit the Indian economy.
Physically handicapped – competing for an equal word
A sense of dignity can be brought into the lives of physically handicapped by recognising them as differently a led rather than as the disabled. Para Olympics is one such an event.
NGO – Cash flow to NGOs needs regulatory law: Apex court
In India definition of NGO is too vague and generalised. Only 1/10th of NGO file annual returns. In this context, Supreme Court suggested late commission to look in to the matter of having a regulatory law for NGOs.
With inputs from CivilsPrep