Hyderabad: Registering its strong protest over the discriminatory attitude of the Centre towards States, Telangana has decided to stay away from the 7th Governing Council meeting of the NITI Aayog scheduled to be held in Delhi on Monday. “I am boycotting the NITI Aayog meeting to highlight our disenchantment with its functioning”, Chief Minister K […]
Hyderabad: Registering its strong protest over the discriminatory attitude of the Centre towards States, Telangana has decided to stay away from the 7th Governing Council meeting of the NITI Aayog scheduled to be held in Delhi on Monday. “I am boycotting the NITI Aayog meeting to highlight our disenchantment with its functioning”, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced here on Saturday.
Speaking at a media conference at Pragati Bhavan, Chandrashekhar Rao termed NITI Aayog as a failed institution. It had been reduced to being an instrument to force the Centre’s ill-advised policies on the States. Building up his argument with examples, Chandrashekhar Rao charged that the institution has given a go-by to the spirit of cooperative federalism which was enshrined in the Constitution of India. He said the real federal spirit was to make states stronger with the belief that strong states make a strong country.
He recalled that when the NITI Aayog was constituted replacing the Planning Commission, a group of Chief Ministers was constituted to make recommendations on developmental issues. The major recommendation was to give some flexibility to States to design or modify the schemes based on their needs and conditions, but this recommendation was set aside and the Centre was micro-managing all its schemes leaving little scope for the States in the process.
The Centre had even turned a Nelson’s eye to the institution’s recommendation that Telangana be given Rs 5000 crore for Mission Kakatiya and Rs 19,205 crore for Misson Bhagiratha. But not a single paise was released so far despite its own recommendation, Rao pointed out. When Telangana completed both the projects on its own with its own funds, the Centre was blatantly trying to take credit for these two schemes.
The Telangana CM said at least with his boycott of the meeting, there should be a discussion on the reasons why “I am boycotting the meeting with pain and anguish”. “There is no use in attending the meeting as Chief Minister’s are given hardly three minutes of time to speak”, he observed.
Launching a diatribe against the Centre, the Telangana CM said the Centre had initiated steps which led to severe damage to the Indian economy. He explained how States determine their open market borrowings based on the provisions of the FRBM. However, the Centre has included the borrowings of State PSUs for their capital needs to be treated as state government borrowings. “This was not only done suddenly but with a clause of retrospective implementation, which put brakes on the progress of Telangana and many other States…This discrimination is practised against the States, without any compunction, even while the Government of India resorts to indiscriminate open market borrowings”.
Maintaining that he had no personal animosity with the Prime Minister, he pointed out that it was his duty and responsibility as a citizen to oppose any anti-people scheme. “Modi is my friend, but when the issue pertains to people, I will highlight the injustice”, he said. Demanding that Modi government roll back its anti-people decisions he said if the demand was not conceded to, he would strive to build a nationwide movement against Centre’s policies.
Chandrashekhar Rao questioned as to why the BJP which had raised a hue and cry over the 2G scam had now allotted the 5G spectrum only for Rs 1.5 lakh crore, when the expected revenue was around Rs 5 lakh crore. He also demanded that the Centre exempt milk, handlooms, beedi makin industrsy and cremation grounds from the levy of GST.