ANDHRA PRADESH

Congress to review World Bank agreements

VIJAYAWADA, APRIL 24. The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president, D. Srinivas, on Saturday lambasted the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, for throwing the financial situation of the State into doldrums with "undisciplined'' fiscal management.

Addressing a press conference here, he reiterated the Congress' decision to review the agreements signed with the World Bank and the conditionalities set by the bank to give huge loans to the State. "With the kind of imprudent financial policies it followed, the Government has failed to create any assets despite borrowing huge loans. Though several representations were made in the past, the Government did not come out with documentary evidence on the way the amounts were spent,'' he said.

In a stern warning to officials, he said that the Congress would make a list of all officials who "went overboard to help the TDP'' and initiate necessary action against them after the Congress came back to power. However, it was too early to make the names of the officials public as the election process was still underway, he said when asked whether the party had already identified "such officials.''

Mr. Srinivas said that instead of taking up new projects in irrigation and industrial sectors, the Chandrababu Naidu Government had accorded priority to works like construction of checkdams and other water harvesting structures wherein several irregularities had occurred. He wondered as to how the World Bank, which was not ready to give assistance for major projects, permitted the Government to spend amounts on such works. While the profit-making public sector undertakings like AP Transco, AP Genco and APSRTC were thrown into losses, levy of user charges in hospitals and other areas of the service sector was another factor that burdened the middle and lower classes. With the public opinion firmly moulded against the TDP, Mr. Naidu was now trying to politicise every issue for gaining electoral mileage.

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