Even as the State government is awaiting the Home Ministry’s response to its recent letter seeking clarifications on the shortcomings and infirmities in the draft AP Reorganisation Bill, 2013, it has taken up the schedule-wise verification of the Bill for any obvious glitches.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta and other legislators had written to the Speaker stating that the Bill suffered from inherent lapses and failed to provide comprehensive information. For instance, it did not mention the basic objects and reasons for bifurcation nor did it give the financial memorandum explaining allocation of funds — be it for IITs, IIMs etc., or for building a new capital promised for the Seemandhra region after bifurcation.
Other key information relates to assets valuation, location of assets of major public sector corporations, their debts and other liabilities and revenue deficits attributable to Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema, Telangana and GHMC area. The Chief Secretary reportedly conveyed in strong terms to the Home Ministry the legislators’ concerns and sought information well before the Assembly meets again on January 3.
Simultaneously, a comprehensive exercise is underway in the State to determine the strength of employees, regular, contract and outsourced. Sources said that the State government departments were not involved in the preparation of the Bill and it was entirely handled by the Secretaries of Union Government, save some consultations now and then.Contrasting scenario
This is in contrast to the Bihar Bill in which the Centre left it to the State to furnish all details pertaining to Bihar. Such liberty is not extended to the Andhra Pradesh government, sources added.
A State government official said their main work involved Schedules 9 and 10 related to public sector undertakings, societies, organisations and to ensure that every PSU, institution is included.
“The brief is to look for any missing items in schedules, provide value addition through filling up gaps for clarity, and technical information not provided in the Bill”.
Key departments like power, irrigation were also preparing comprehensive information in case legislators raised such a demand during the discussion.
“The draft Bill is before the Assembly. The members are raising questions. Either the Centre or State, someone has to provide answers,” the official said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that other legally contentious issues such as 371(D), 371 (H) (vesting Governor with special powers), status of common capital and territorial boundaries continue to worry bureaucrats at the Centre as they could become stumbling blocks to passage of the Bill. But the members of the GoM are learnt to have brushed aside their objections.