A month after Parliament nod for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Telangana held a review meeting on Friday to examine the ongoing exercise of carving out a separate state.
The meeting at the North Block, chaired by Union Minister of Home Affairs Sushilkumar Shinde, also finalised terms of reference for a five-member multi-disciplinary panel to select a new capital for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh. A Home Ministry notification will be issued next week to the panel which will submit its recommendations in the next six months.
Interestingly, the GoM did not take up Polavaram project and the status of Ordinance cleared by the Union cabinet to amend the AP re-organisation. The review meeting examined the progress made by three key ministries --Water resources, Finance and HRD Ministry --regarding the division of the state.
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said the Group of Ministers would meet again to review the progress made by the ministries soon. “A lot of activity will take place after the meeting.
However, there are several key issues that need to be resolved before June 2. Two committees have been set up by the Centre -- the first will look into division of All India Service officers and the second will take up the matter of 84,000 state employees,” Jairam said.
A special unit has already been set up in the Planning Commission to deal with the special development needs of Seemandhra.
A consultant, Sreenivas, from the state has already joined the unit. Jairam said before the appointed day, the Water Resources, HRD and Finance Ministry would have to take follow up action on the Re-organisation Act. “An additional reference has to be made to the Brajesh Kumar tribunal and selection of members for Krishna river board and Godawari river board where the chairman and member secretary were appointed by the Centre. A separate High Court issue was also discussed by the GoM. We are of the view that two High Courts should become functional very soon. The Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and Governor were requested to coordinate with the Chief Justice of India for setting up the court. It is under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and we believe the process will be done in a few months,” Jairam added.
The Group of Ministers also asked the HRD Ministry to issue guidelines to continue with the common admission test and the existing quota.