The ruling TDP said foreign investments were the best route for development funding in a deficit situation

Andhra CM bluffing YSRCP demands white paper on foreign tripsFile photo/PTI
news Politics Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 19:15

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu might claim that his many foreign visits are wooing investors to the new state. However, the opposition YSR Congress is not buying any of his claims. The party has demanded a white paper from the government on the CM’s foreign trips, incorporating in a transparent manner the details of the various investments these trips have resulted in, and the projects that have begun as a result.

In the last week of June, as part of his visit to China, Naidu had attended the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, and held meetings with investors and industry leaders. Soon after his return, the CM departed for a tour of Kazakhstan and Russia. In Kazakhstan, the CM visited Astana, the capital, to understand the problems involved in the construction of a new capital. And in Russia, he attended Innoprom-2016, the country’s largest annual international trade fair, and made a pitch for Russia’s involvement in the development of the capital.

However, legislators from the YSR Congress argue that the CM is trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes with claims of low revenues for the state and delayed release of funds from the central government, resulting in a revenue deficit. The question they are raising is why the Chief Minister is unable to bring in funds for the state even though three budget sessions have passed since he occupied the post, and his government has completed two years in office.

“We are asking Chandrababu Naidu to make it clear to the people about the state’s revenue and the investments which he successfully bought to the state. I am sure, he will fail to prove himself, as none of the investments became a reality. The government here is paralyzed and administration is a big failure, said Dharmana Prasad Rao, a YSRCP leader.  

At a news conference on Tuesday, MLA G Srikanth Reddy also launched a broadside against Naidu. “He is just bluffing people on foreign investments coming to the state. One can only see his pictures with global leaders and investors. And the projects are on paper not in reality,” he argued. “This is the reason we are demanding a white paper to know which company is coming to the state and how much investment is flowing in, according to Naidu's claims.”

However, representatives of the ruling TDP dismissed these claims as baseless. TDP spokesperson Linga Reddy, said, “To build a capital city we need to mobilize funds, and foreign investments play an important role in building a state’s revenue system.”

Andhra Pradesh plans to scale up its infrastructure with airports, sea ports and four-lane highways in a condition of financial deficit. In such a situation, he observed, foreign investments are the best possible route to development. With the need to raise funds having the highest priority, and the avenues for raising revenue within the state being limited, the state needed to invite foreign investments, which is what the CM is doing, he argued.

“When IT Minister, K Taraka Ramarao from a surplus state like Telangana is on foreign tours drawing foreign investments, why can’t a state like Andhra Pradesh which is financially weak, do the same? We feel it is the need of the hour. YSRCP is indulging in baseless allegations and the questions they ask are not honest,” he said.

When asked if the party was ready to respond white paper on foreign tours of Chandrababu Naidu, he said, “Not just a white paper, I challenge YSRCP leaders to come for an open public debate. Then public will get to know who is more transparent,” said Linga Reddy. 

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