Bifurcation blues continue to haunt Andhra Pradesh even after a decade

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy visited New Delhi several times during his five-year regime to prevail upon the Centre to get the matters settled but to no avail.
Just from losing the assets of the institutions listed in Schedule IX and X of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the State is estimated to have suffered Rs 1.3 lakh crore loss.
Just from losing the assets of the institutions listed in Schedule IX and X of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the State is estimated to have suffered Rs 1.3 lakh crore loss.File Photo| Prasant Madugula

VIJAYAWADA: It has been 10 years since the bifurcation of the State, and the residual Andhra Pradesh is still devoid of its rightful share of assets, rue people of different sections.

Former MP Undavalli Arun Kumar, who waged a relentless legal battle against the injustice done to the State in the name of bifurcation, says after a decade, the loss of AP is much more than what figures show.

Just from losing the assets of the institutions listed in Schedule IX and X of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the State is estimated to have suffered Rs 1.3 lakh crore loss. However, the loss of the capital city, delay in the construction of the Polavaram project, and non-implementation of various assurances given to the residual AP at the time of bifurcation, especially Special Category Status are beyond estimation.

“We can only blame the lack of political will for this situation,” observed Chalasani Srinivas, convener of Andhra Intellectuals Forum. Neither the TDP nor the YSRC which headed the government after bifurcation, made any significant efforts to get the issues regarding the apportioning of assets between the two sibling States resolved. “Though 60,000 employees were divided between the two States, the assets of Schedule XI and X remain undivided, which will be a huge problem in the coming days for AP,” he felt.

Even Undavalli agreed with his viewpoint. “The politicians, who have to fight for the rights of the people of the State have taken a ‘take it lite’ approach as the interests of several of them are in Hyderabad,” he observed sarcastically.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy visited New Delhi several times during his five-year regime to prevail upon the Centre to get the matters settled, but to no avail.

In November 2023, before the officials meeting the Union Home Secretary on the implementation of provisions in the 13th Schedule of the AP Reorganisation Act, Jagan pointed out that several provisions of the APRA remain only on paper even after 10 years of bifurcation.

“Over 58% of the debt was allocated to AP and 42% to Telangana. But in terms of revenue, 58% went to Telangana and 42% to AP,” he pointed out and asked how will AP progress with such a state of affairs.

In the paper released by the Government’s Real Time Governance Wing on the website -- apreorganisationact.ap.gov.in -- it was explained at length how the residual AP was at the receiving end in the unjust bifurcation, which was described as unscientific, irrational that caused severe hardship to AP, and left a deep scar on the psyche of Telugu people.

Elaborating on injustice done to the State, the webpage stated a huge debt liability of Rs 1,30,000 crore was transferred to the AP account.

The undivided loan liability of more than Rs 24,000 crore has been put in the books of accounts of AP, burdening the State with discharge of liability pending division. This has adversely impacted the FRBM limits of AP as well. Interest servicing for undivided loan liability is being done by AP thereby adversely affecting its finances. Pension liabilities arising from the combined State have been divided on population basis putting a higher burden on AP.

The Finance Commission had estimated that AP would have a net revenue deficit of Rs 22,112 crore over the next five years even after the 42% devolution. Hence, AP would continue to be a revenue deficit State.

Despite Singareni Collieries being a Schedule IX company, Telangana has been allocated 51% equity on location basis. However, a similar dispensation for its subsidiary APHMEL located in AP, also a Schedule IX company, has not been given.

There is a disagreement between both the States on several issues, particularly energy and water, besides the appropriation of assets in Schedule IX and X institutions.

AP is stating that Telangana has to pay over Rs 7,000 crore for the power supplied between June 2014 and June 2017, but Telangana refused it and the matter is now in court.

As per the APRA, the management of the key irrigation projects Srisialam and Nagarjuna Sagar have to be handed over to the KRMB. However, the same has not been done with Telangana not agreeing to it.

There have been over two dozen meetings at the Secretary level over the past 10 years to settle the issue of assets division amicably, but no agreement has been arrived at.

There are 89 government companies and corporations listed in Schedule IX and 107 institutions listed in Schedule X. Sheela Bhide committee recommendations for the division of assets were ignored.

Though AP has approached the Supreme Court over the division of assets between the two States, the matter remains unsettled. Now, with the completion of 10 years, the only way left before the State is taking the legal route, which may take years, opined experts.

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