The then PM Mr. Manmohan Singh, while speaking in Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 offered following steps to address concerns of people of Seemandhra region, outside the AP Reorganization Act 2014 at the behest of BJP's leaders Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu:
1. Special category status will be extended to the new AP state for period of 5 years to put state finances on firmer footing
2. Central government will take all fiscal measures such as tax incentives to promote industrialization and economic growth in successor states, along the lines extended to other states
3. Special development package to backward regions of the new AP state, which includes 4 districts of Rayalaseema and 3 districts of Uttarandhra (northern districts), along the lines of KBK plan and Budelkhand plan
4. Central government will execute Polavaram project including passing amendments for full rehabilitation of displaced families
5. Appointed day will be fixed to facilitate smooth transfer of personnel, finances etc
6. Any resource gap (i.e. revenue deficit) encountered by successor state of AP in bridging state finances between appointed day and acceptance of 14th Finance Commission recommendations by government will be compensated in 2014-15 budget.
The promises made for helping AP to survive without capital, institutions and budget deficits etc works out to Rs.3,00,000 crores and over 10 years it works out to Rs.30,000 crores per annum. During the past 2+ years central budget provisions were NIL and actual funds flow to AP were less than Rs 5,000 crores. With people of AP and Govt of AP becoming increasingly impatient and agitations and sentiments getting hardened, Modi & Co sat down to implement promises made in the Act only ignoring several promises made on the floor of Parliament while passing the Bill. The attached document 'Central Assistance to Andhra Pradesh' unveiled by Arun Jaitley & Venkaiah Naidu, Union Ministers in the press conference at New Delhi on Sep 8, 2016, again leaving the most important issues hazy and unaddressed. At best the package works out to about Rs.1,50,000 crores without any time frames. Implementation of the proposed package, falling short of the Act, is gross and mischievous violation of implementation of AP Reorganization Act 2014.
AP should file writ of mandamus in Supreme Court against Union Government to properly fulfill their duties or correct deliberate abuse of discretion. Recently ONGC fled case in SC against Reliance Industries as A1 and Union Government (MoPNG), the 70% equity share holder, as A2 in "Great India Gas Robbery by Reliance" and independent consultant's findings were embarrassing for GOI's complicity in Reliance's systematic pilferage of Gas from ONGC's gas fields for several years. Hats off to ONGC chairman Mr. Dinesh K Sarraf for walking extra daring miles to safe guard its organization's interests.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintains stoic silence, his deputies Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu cites vague interpretation of 14th Finance Commission report to deprive Special Category Status to AP. The only place 'Special Category Status' was mentioned in the report is as below
On page 17 (para 2.29 & 2.30) of the Report, the Commission has stated (inter alia):
“We did not make a distinction between special and general category states in determining our norms and recommendations ... In our assessment of State resources, we have taken into account the disabilities arising from constraints unique to each State to arrive at the expenditure requirements. ...
This only limits financial assistance to states irrespective of category. But more important benefit is in the form of tax incentives to industries which will boost economy, revenues and employment opportunities etc which was unaddressed by Arun Jaitley and misrepresented by Venkaiah Naidu in his press conferences with his vocal talents. This is outright abuse of AP and misleading the nation.
New capital construction, with its associated features & facilities, requires at the least Rs.75,000 crores and at the best Rs.250,000 crores and centre extending Rs.2,500 crores assistance is a matter shame. AP CM Chandrababu Naidu remarking that this paltry amount is not even sufficient for underground power cabling amply reflects the displeasure.
The mischievously worded Polavaram project assistance
The Central Government will fund the Polavaram Irrigation Project in the following manner:
(i) It will provide 100% of the remaining cost of the irrigation component only of the project for the period starting from
1.4.2014, to the extent of the cost of the irrigation component on that date.
puts huge burden on AP Govt due to (1) exclusion of Power House (2) limiting the central assistance as per 2014 estimates (3) Non reimbursement of money already spent by AP to the tune of Rs.5,000 crores. The result is that Centre will spend about 50% of actual project cost as and when it gets completed and remaining by AP Govt. This is day light robbery of AP by Centre.
More and more analysis will only end up in Central Government abstaining from its committed responsibilities towards the people of AP and BJP will surely pay bitter price in next 2019 elections. Discrimination between North and South is amply clear. I won't get surprised if BJP collapses under its own weight and Congress returns to power. Pavan Kalyan's compared Jaitley's package as two rotten laddu's and demanded AP Govt to reject it outright.
It is pertinent that Modi should
- be empathetic to the suffering of people AP after illegal state bifurcation
- understand aspirations of people of India instead of capitalists of foreign countries
- realize that governance is not maximizing revenues by elimination subsidies & deceiving southern people rather than trimming its own expenses and balancing budget as per IMF guidelines
- limit his own very expensive and unnecessary & fancy foreign jaunts
- avoid fancy & white elephant projects like 'Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project' which only serves Gujarati rich people rather than Indian common man
- special status and central assistance to AP is the right of people of AP and Modi & Co's behavior denying these is nothing but rude and highhanded
- recollect Gandhi's advise to Nehru & Patel on assuming offices just after independence is paraphrased below .... whenever you set up to sign a file think of the common on the street & peasant in the fields and if it benefits him then sign it otherwise examine it thoroughly,
Venkaiah Naidu has completed successful burial of BJP in AP, 100 feet below the ground by doing nothing and defending Modi & Jaitley's manipulations. Needless to say Sonia Gandhi got nothing out of manipulations and Venkaiah Naidu in all probability will also get nothing despite his aspiration to the post of President or Vice President.