Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday said that non-fulfillment of the assurances in the A.P. Reorganisation Act-2014 had led to grave injustice to the residual State, besides laying a huge financial stress on it.
At the 29th Southern Zonal Council meet here, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Chief Minister said that though Andhra Pradesh was divided on the assurance of providing the special status to the residual State, it did not happen even seven years later. “The delay in fulfilling the promises has forced the State into huge losses since 2014. Apart from financial losses, it is also adversely impacting the relations with others States. Despite our repeated appeals for the special category status, it has not been realised,” Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said, urging Mr. Shah to immediately look into the demand.
To effectively address the inter-State disputes with a time-bound action plan, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy urged the Centre to constitute a special committee which would facilitate amicable settlement of issues.
Terming the Polavaram project as the “lifeline” of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said though it had the assurance as a national project in the A.P. Reorganisation Act, with complete funding by the Centre, there was inordinate delay in its execution. He said the insistence of the Centre that it would consider the estimates of 2013-14 was a violation of the Act and urged the Centre to bear the entire expenditure for its completion.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that pendency of funds to overcome the resource gap, which he termed as “revenue deficit” to the tune of ₹22,948.76 crore till 2021 had hamstrung the development of the State. He recalled the assurance of the then Prime Minister to release the funds in 2014.
Sharing of assets
Referring to sharing of assets with and pending arrears on the consumption of power by Telangana, he said that these prime issues continued to be dodged, further forcing A.P. into financial losses. Assets worth ₹1,42,601 crore had to be distributed and power consumption arrears of ₹6,112 crore had to be cleared. “Though the AP Genco had clarified in 2018 that it would not supply power to Telangana, later we had to continue, following the Centre’s involvement,” Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said.
The Chief Minister recalled that as per the Reorganisation Act, the Centre had to take up construction of eight mega infrastructure projects and 11 institutions of national importance by 2024. The assurance of a Bundelkhand-like package to the backward districts of the State had not seen light so far.
Water to T.N.
Referring to the supply of drinking water to Tamil Nadu, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said that as per the inter-State agreements since the 1970s, it was the collective responsibility of the united A.P. along with neighbouring Karnataka and Maharashtra to allow 5 tmcft each for T.N. However, at present, it was only A.P. that had been bearing the burden. Payment of ₹338.48 crore had been pending from T.N. towards maintenance charges for supplying Telugu Ganga waters to Chennai, he said.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy maintained that it was T.N. which was objecting to the Palar river project in Kuppam on the inter-State border. “The Palar project is the need of the hour to have drinking and irrigation water for the region of Kuppam,” he said.
Terming the Central government’s cut in the net borrowing ceiling (NBC) for A.P. as “unjust”, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy urged the Centre to clarify why it had not objected to the State raising loans in 2018-19 during the previous (TDP) government.
He said that allocation of rice under the National Food Security Act to the State by the Centre was done unscientifically. While the requirement of ration supply was 75% of the families in rural areas and 50% in urban areas, the current allocation was 61% and 41% respectively.
Responding to the Chief Minister’s appeals, Mr. Amit Shah said that all the concerns of A.P. would be looked into and steps initiated for amicable settlements at the earliest.