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Why is Pawan Kalyan in Dilemma?

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Pawan Kalyan

Pawan Kalyan

Pawan Kalyan: Every time Jana Sena Party founder president and film star-turned politician Pawan Kalyan decides to accelerate his political voice in Andhra Pradesh he is challenged by a new kind of situation. It looks like Pawan will have to take a thoughtful decision about his voice as well as his party’s voice is heard and taken seriously. The latest issue that has driven Pawan Kalyan into confusion is Vizag Steel!

Entire people of Andhra Pradesh crossing all the political borders are on one voice to save Visakhapatnam Steel Plant from being privatised. Be it a leader from ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) or opposition party Telugu Desam Party (TDP), all have come together to take on Union government which has announced that Vizag Steel Plant would be privatised.

The workers, the general public, the activists, people of Visakhapatnam, the people from neighbouring states of Odisa, Telangana and Chhattisgarh have all joined hands to protest against the move of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Union government to privatise the successfully running steel plant.

It is an obvious choice even for Pawan Kalyan to join hands with the people and support for the cause against the move to privatise the company. But this is leading to a new confusion and personal dilemma for the JSP leader. Pawan’s JSP has forged an alliance with BJP and are jointly working on all the issues and even elections in AP. Whereas the issue of privatisation has been started by BJP government, so Pawan is in confusion what stance should he take.

If Pawan Kalyan supports the anti-privatisation move, he will invite the enmity of BJP; and on the other hand if he supports BJP and ignore people’s aspirations he will have to face the wrath of the general public. Meanwhile JSP workers and leaders are claiming that Pawan Kalyan had impressed upon Union Home Minister Amit Shah and is working towards the Union government’s move to stop Vizag Steel privatisation.

It is not sure if Union government will listen to Pawan, but if he succeeds there will be no looking for the JSP leader in his political career. But we have to also take into consideration of the fact that the country’s economy is in bad shape and as a process to improve the financial health of the country, the government has come with monetisation and privatisation of public sector units, so it is not easy task for Pawan Kalyan to convince Union government to give-up on the idea of Vizag Steel privatisation!

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Andhra Pradesh: Financial crisis reveals state’s situation!

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is facing severe backlash from all quarters and the reason is that he is driving the state into severe debts! With huge cash needs to meet the welfare programmes as well as other regular expenses, the state is not in a position to meet the needs and has conveniently taken loans which has drawn it into debt trap! Will Jagan be able to pull out the state from the debts?

Financial crisis reveals state situation

Financial crisis reveals state situation

Issue of AP’s debts came to light today when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar raised the question. It has been clearly mentioned that the state government has borrowed Rs 57,479 crore from state owned banks during the period April 1st 2019 to November 30th 2021. AP’s revenue deficit is at 662.80 per cent while the fiscal deficit was up by 107.79 per cent in the first half of the 2021-22 financial year.

Earlier, it has been reported that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pointed out lapses, both constitutional and procedural, in financial management by Andhra Pradesh government. The audit report for the financial year 2019-20 was tabled in the state Legislature.

Some of the prominent issues red flagged by the CAG are:
a) non-disclosure of off-budget borrowings running up to Rs 26,096.98 crore in budget documents;

b) transfer of Rs 1,100 crore related to the State Disaster Relief Fund to personal deposit account in violation of rules;

c) 80 per cent of borrowings utilised to balance revenue accounts affecting asset creation;

d) “unacceptable” argument to amend the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management Act in December 2020 to reset targets relating to the five-year period from 2015-16 to 2019-20;

e) effective capital expenditure amounted to just 0.72 per cent of the GSDP and finally, unsustainable level of debt to GSDP ratio.

The CAG went on to mention that the expenditure of the state was mainly focused on social services, which include education, health and welfare activities. In fact, welfare activities constituted 18 per cent of the total expenditure in Andhra Pradesh and around 13 per cent was spent on education, sports among others. In this respect, the CAG agreed that “development expenditure and expenditure on social services as a proportion of total expenditure were higher in the State compared to the other general category states.”

It also found fault with the government for not expending enough on asset creation. “This reflects poorly on the State’s commitment towards infrastructure creation,” the report said.

Also Read: Paddy War: Is it more than what meets the eye?

The financial situation of AP has become bait for opposition to attack Jagan government. The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the Jagan government has pushed the state into a debt trap, as evident from Rs 1,45,600 crore worth loans taken by it since 2019. They observed that funds are being spent on welfare initiatives with an objective to improve individual fame, instead of revenue generation programmes.

Also Read: Telangana: Educational institutes are turning into Covid hubs!

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Andhra Pradesh: NGOs give ultimatum to Jagan

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In what could be a major headache to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) have warned the CM of dire consequences if an inordinate delay in revealing details of the implementation of the Pay Revision Commission’s (PRC) recommendations and lack of information regarding the 71-point charter of demands forced the employees to begin a month-long struggle to get justice from the government.

Jagan

Jagan


Already the NGOs have started sporting black badges and are attending the work at all the government offices across the state, as per the call given by APNGOs president Bandi Srinivasa Rao. He had urged all the staff to register their protest between Tuesday and Thursday by wearing black badges at their respective workplaces.

The employees are dissatisfied with Jagan when it comes to the way the state government is giving out their salaries, pensions and other benefits. The AP government hasn’t even put the PRC scheme into effect so far, further increasing the ire of the employees. Irked by this negligent attitude of the CM towards NGOs, Srinivasa Rao has clearly warned Jagan that they would directly go against him. Speaking logically, he said, “There are 13 Lakh government employees in the state, which means that there are 13 Lakh votes in the form of these employees. He also said that each employee can bring at least 4-5 additional votes, which sums up to around 60 Lakh additional votes.”

Srinivasa Rao has directly warned Jagan and questioned him if the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) can win the next elections without the help of employees. He threatened that he would strive to defeat Jagan in the next elections if he fails to implement PRC and meet the demands of the employees. “They would then have to lose their votes, alongside the votes of others, which could result in a great loss,” he observed.

The APNGOs head said he was not like his predecessors, while one joined the government and became MLC, and other became the advisor to YSRCP government. “We are disappointed with the lack of a proper response from officials during joint staff council meetings. There is no positive reply from officials over payment of 7 DAs and clearance of applications for withdrawal of GPF and other benefits,” he added.

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Polavaram: When will it get completed?

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Polavaram: Yet another blow to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government which had been dreaming of completing the Polavaram project by April 2022. It looks like the works will not be completed by the stipulated time and could extend inadvertently for a much longer time. Though it is not yet clear when they are likely to complete, and with third wave of Covid-10 pandemic staring at us, the delay could be very long then expected!

Polavaram

Polavaram

Earlier this year, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria has informed that Polavaram project will be completed by April, 2022, as per the revised schedule. Kataria said that though the Andhra Pradesh government informed that Polavaram Irrigation Project will be completed by December, 2021, in the 12th meeting of Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) held in April, 2020, a committee was constituted to study and come up with a project schedule and completion programme with proper planning duly backed with adequate resource mobilisation.

But that seems to be news from the past. Today it was made clear that the Polavaram project will get extended and will be not completed as scheduled. The Union Jal Shakti Ministry made a clear cut statement that the dam construction may miss yet another deadline. Citing technical reasons, the construction is getting delayed. “We have set a new target of April 2022 and hope to meet the deadline this time. But we faced difficulties in rehabilitation and compensation for the people. Covid-19 is also one of the reasons behind the delay,” read the written statement of the Union Jal Shakti Ministry.

Polavaram project question was shot by Teleugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar. In reply to this question the Union government made a statement on Polavaram dam in the Parliament today and told that it was not being completed by April 2022! This is has further disappointed the people of AP as well as Jagan government!

The Union government made it clear that funds will be allocated only for the irrigation component of the Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP). In a written reply to YSRC MP V Viajayasai Reddy’s question on Polavaram project funding in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Bisweshwar Tudu said the Advisory Committee in February 2019 had recommended Rs 55,548 crore as the second revised cost estimate of Polavaram project at the 2017-18 price level.

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