HYDERABAD: Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said on Wednesday that his government was prepared to have a debate on the cancellation of the Indirasagar Polavaram project tender. The tender was finalised in favour of SEW-Patel-AMR joint venture but was cancelled later following an uproar by the TDP that it was awarded to a company which has on its board a close aide of TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao in a quid-pro-quo deal for diluting the sakala janula samme.
Intervening in the reply by finance minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy to the debate on the state budget 2011-12, the chief minister denied that the tender was awarded as a ‘thanksgiving’ gesture to Rao.
As per the advice of the High Power Committee, tenders would be called again for the project, he added. “We are committed to completing the Polavaram project at any cost as it is important for the state. The government is ready for a debate on it,” Kiran Kumar Reddy stated.
At the end of the debate, at about 9 pm, the opposition parties walked out of the House just before the budget was passed. They charged the government with failure to fulfil its commitment to the weaker sections, initiate market intervention schemes for farmers and for not being able to make adequate allocation for drought-relief measures.
Ramnarayana Reddy refuted the allegations saying necessary budgetary allocation had been made for various departments. He also denied any freeze on funds for urban local bodies or the Panchayat Raj.
Earlier, YSRC member YS Vijayamma said the Congress could target YSR’s family if it had any scores to settle with the late chief minister but not make the poor suffer by diluting YSR’s schemes.
MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi countered government’s claim of 62 percent increase in the budget for minorities, saying it was only Rs 56 cr in reality. Much of the Rs 489 crore shown under this head had been earmarked for various other expenses, he said.