Another row erupted between the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which have been at loggerheads on various issues. This time, it is regarding transfer of funds of public institutions.
The Telangana chief secretary, Rajeev Sharma, convened a meeting of top managers of commercial and private banks in the state on Friday and advised them to strictly follow the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, in dealing with the funds of these institutions.
The chief secretary told the bankers that any violations of the Act “in dealing with these funds would lead to stringent action being taken against all parties responsible in this matter and may entail civil and criminal action”.
The simmering differences between the two states in this regard came to the fore on Thursday with the police, following a complaint by a Telangana official, registering a criminal case against two AP officials on the charges of diverting a public institution’s funds allegedly meant for Telangana, to AP.
“In gross violation of Sec 52 of the AP Reorganisation Act, it has come to our notice that large amounts of funds of Andhra Pradesh Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Board mentioned at SI No 56 of Schedule-VII were transferred without the knowledge or consent of the Government of Telangana, to bank branches located in residuary Andhra Pradesh. Such action can be taken only after transferring the due share of Telangana, which is also entitled to the proportionate interest accrued on the deposits. Already, a criminal case has been booked against the persons responsible and the matter is under investigation by the police,” the chief secretary stated in a circular issued today.
The circular also instructed the banks, which hold deposits of the welfare board, to ensure that all the balances in different accounts were restored to the accounts held by undivided state of AP. The banks were asked to furnish a status report in this regard within the next three days.
The bankers have been informed that the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have nominated their representatives to an expert committee set up to look into the bifurcation of 89 government companies and corporations listed in the 9th Schedule of the state reorganisation Act.
“Hence, all the banks are instructed to ensure that whenever proposals are received for drawl of funds with respect to these organisations, it has to be checked whether the process of division is complete or not. The process is only to be considered as complete if both the governments issue necessary orders for bifurcation of assets, liabilities and personnel,” the circular pointed out.
Meanwhile, the AP government maintained that it had not done anything wrong in transferring the funds of the welfare board. The state communications advisor, Parakala Prabhakar, told mediapersons that the amount retained in the original account after the fund transfer was more than what Telangana was entitled to get as its share as per the Act.
However, Telangana home minister, N Narasimha Reddy, took strong exception to the transfer of funds by AP officials. “Your government is here, your chief minister is here, your organisation is here. Where is the need to transfer the funds to a bank in Vijayawada,” he countered.
Power generation at Srisailam
The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) issued on order on Friday directing the Telangana government to”optimally” use water in Srisailam reservoir “in such a way that drawl of water for power generation may not exceed 3 TMC up to 2.11.2014”. If required, the board said, the matter would be reviewed after November 15.
AP government objected to generation of power by the Telangana government at Srisailam reservoir stating that the latter was violating different government orders (issued prior to bifurcation of the state) restraining utilisation of water below a certain storage level for power generation.
On the other hand, the Telangana government maintained that it was in dire need of power for pumping ground water to sustain the standing crops and hence was operating Srisailam Left Bank Power House. It also told the board that the demand for power by the agriculture sector would decline considerably after November 2.
Following meetings with the representatives of both the governments this week, the board issued an order today allowing Telangana government to generate power but not to utilise more than 3 TMC of water for the purpose.