The Union government has convened first meeting of a panel constituted to resolve the bilateral issues between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on February 17. The meeting of the dispute resolution sub-committee will be held via video-conference to discuss the pending issues between the two Telugu states. This was announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday, February 12.
The ministry on February 8 constituted a committee under the chairmanship of joint secretary to carry out the preparatory work and recommend practical ways to resolve the bilateral issues arising out of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The ministry had invited Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Andhra Pradesh's Principal Secretary (Finance) and Telangana's Special Chief Secretary K. Ramakrishna Rao to attend the meeting.
The agenda of the meeting includes special category status, which was promised to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh. The items on the agenda include division of Andhra Pradesh State Finance Corporation, settlement of power utilities of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, removal of anomaly in taxation matters, division of cash balance and bank deposits, cash credit by APSCSCL and TSCSCL, resource gap, development grant for seven backward districts of Andhra Pradesh covering Rayalaseema and north coastal region and tax incentives.
The constitution of sub-committee is the latest attempt by the Centre to help resolve the issues between the Telugu states. At a meeting of the chief secretaries of other officials of the two states called by union home secretary Ajay Bhalla last month, both the states stuck to their stands on pending bilateral issues under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014.
Telangana wanted Andhra Pradesh to withdraw court cases filed by the latter so that issues related to bifurcation of Schedule IX and X institutions and payment of electricity dues can be settled. On Andhra Pradesh's claim of electricity dues by Telangana distribution companies to the tune of Rs 3,442 crore, Telangana official maintained that the total dues which are receivable from Andhra Pradesh are Rs 12,111 crore.
Telangana argued that if all the dues are considered such as debt servicing of Anantapur and Kurnool districts and costs incurred due to purchase of thermal power by Telangana after it was deprived of low cost hydel power from Sileru Hydro Project, the Telangana utilities have to receive a net amount of Rs.12,111 crores and not the other way round. Further, AP utilities filed a case in High Court. Telangana has demanded that the case be withdrawn so that the amounts can be settled.
Somesh Kumar said 5,000 acres of land which was allotted to The Deccan.
Infrastructure Land Holdings Limited (DILL) was resumed by government of Telangana in 2015 as the conditions of allotment were violated. The Andhra Pradesh government has filed Writ Petition against the said GO and obtained stay order. Similarly in the case of division of Andhra Pradesh State Financial Corporation (APSFC), Andhra Pradesh government has gone to court and obtained stay against resumption of 250 acres allotted to State Finance Corporation for violation of conditions.
Somesh Kumar said the whole issue of bifurcation of Schedule IX institutions is pending because of these court cases filed by the government of Andhra Pradesh. The government of Telangana took the stand that unless court cases are withdrawn, further progress on the bifurcation of Schedule IX institutions cannot be made.