Financial aid to Telangana: Centre remains unmoved
Repeated requests over the past two years by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend financial assistance to TS as promised in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, have proven futile.
The Centre has been sitting on the grants for TS for development of backward areas, drought aid etc. Even recommendations made by the Niti-Aayog to fund Mission Bhagiratha, Mission Kakatiya and for development of backward regions have been ignored.
Though the PM and Union ministers praised Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya schemes several times and asked other states to emulate them to provide a permanent solution to drought and drinking water problems in the country, they failed to keep their word on extending financial assistance to the TS government for these schemes.
“The CM and ministers visited Delhi over a dozen times during the last two years and met the PM and Union ministers concerned, and sought financial aid for the new state. Except making promises and praising the schemes, no funds were allotted,” said S. Venugopala Chary, special representative to the TS government in Delhi.
IT and Municipal minister K.T. Rama Rao expressed anguish over the Centre for not sanctioning funds approved by Niti-Aayog, which is headed by none other than the PM himself.
“Niti-Aayog officials who visited TS to study Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya were impressed by the aims and objectives of the scheme and the way they are being executed in a time-bound manner and recommended Centre to grant `20,000, a few months ago. But there has been no response from the Centre,” Mr Rao said.
The Niti-Aayog has also recommended `900 crore grant to develop nine backward districts of TS, which also has been put in abeyance.
While TS had sought `3,000 crore drought-aid, the Centre gave only `700 crore, due to which the state government could not pay even input subsidy to farmers who lost crops due to last year’s severe drought conditions.