NEW DELHI, July 25 - Clarifying that Special Category States status have been discarded, Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said that Union Government has decided to increase the share of net shareable taxes to the States from 32 per cent earlier to 42 per cent for the period 2015-20.
The Minister said in a Rajya Sabha reply that the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) has not made any distinction between General Category States and Special Category States in the horizontal distribution of shareable taxes amongst the States.
The Minister said that according to the recommendations of the FFC, the Union Government has decided to increase the share of net shareable taxes to the States.
The Minister�s reply sets at rest all speculation over the status of the Special Category States, as Sarbananda Sonowal Government has been facing attacks from the Opposition for its failure to get the Special Category Status restored.
Special Category Status for plan assistance has been granted in the past by the National Development Council (NDC) to some States that are characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration. These features include hilly and difficult terrain, low population density and sizeable share of tribal population, strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of State finances.
The FFC recommendations while considering the various criteria for devolution have taken into account the total requirements of the States under Plan and non-Plan, the Minister said.