Andhra Story: Jagan Govt & the story of uninhibited loans
The government, they say, is for the people, by the people and of the people. But, in the case of Andhra Pradesh, we hear that it is “for Jagan, by Jagan and Of Jagan and his ilk.” No debates there!
In what has been surprising many intellectuals, citizens and in fact, every politician across the country is, how can the government mortgage public properties, government buildings and commoners’ lands for acquiring loans from public sector banks? Who is sanctioning these loans and under what pretext? How is the Reserve Bank of India so silent over such financial misdemeanours?
It is important to note that the Jagan government recently mortgaged a public park and lands in the Amaravati region to take an unknown loan. This kind of borrowing has not just put AP in the red zone list for taking untimely loans but also is raising questions on how long the state will sustain itself before collapsing into darkness in every way.
It doesn’t stop there! In the latest move, the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government has now made a surprise demand for the neighbouring state of Telangana. Here’s the issue: Now, Andhra Pradesh thinks the GPF, Gratuity and pension money of Telangana TRANSCO and GENCO employees is its own and wants the money to be transferred to Andhra coffers.
Wait…but why is this coming up now? Going into details, from 1999 to 2004, the employees of the two organisations saved Rs. 2,900 crore in the form of the above mentioned benefits. This whole amount is lying with AP’s non-banking financial corporation and the YSRCP government has asked the AP state financial corporation to take over these funds.
Learning about the AP government’s plot to usurp these hard-earned savings of employees, Telangana TRANSCO and GENCO employees are a worried lot! The employees’ JAC has written to Telangana’s electricity body CMD Prabhakar Rao to look into the matter immediately. Also, the letters were sent to AP GENCO as well and placed their demand for immediate transfer of Rs 2900 crore to Telangana TRANSCO and GENCO.
The Telangana employees JAC further warned that if the AP government or GENCO ignored this letter, they would create hurdles for the pension holders of AP’s electricity department lying with the Telangana organisations. This could turn into an ugly battle among two Telugu states again and disrupt governance and functioning of two states, even eight years after a bitter bifurcation.
To set the context right, the assets and institutions between the two states are lying without being distributed even after so many years following bifurcation. With numerous unresolved issues on assets division, water-sharing disputes, funds disbursal and division, it is clear that nearly assets worth Rs 1.42 lakh-crore from the schedule 8 and 9, of AP Bifurcation Act of 2014, are still pending to be divided.
Given that there are already pending disputes from the bifurcation, the Union Government, at least now needs to step in, limit AP’s financial spending and demand to take loans haphazardly and discipline the current YSRCP government from creating further turmoil in Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, it is high time that the bifurcation issues be resolved before the state goes to the next Assembly election.
TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.