Amaravati; Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Monday passed the Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of all Regions Repeal Bill 2021 by voice vote.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy told the House, the Bill had to be brought in to strengthen the existing provisions and address various issues including legal matters and widen its scope to benefit the larger section of the society .
He said that the government would bring in a comprehensive and improvised Decentralization Bill, elaborating the good intentions of the Bill, and incorporating all answers of public queries, legal matters within the Bill.
The Bill passed on Monday repeals the Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of all Regions Act 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region development Authority Repeal Act 2020 Act.
The Chief Minister said that if the process of three capitals had begun on time, soon after passing the Bills it would have shown good results by now, as the decentralization was intended to provide equal development of three regions which is in line with the Sri Bagh Pact. However, the government’s intention behind this had been twisted, distorted, and being misled amidst legal hurdles for the past two years.
‘Chandrababu Naidu took the controversial decision on capital in violation Sri Krishna Committee recommendations and pooled about 50,000 acres of land for capital. I have nothing against this region and my house is here and I love this region. But this region is neither in Vijayawada nor in Guntur and both about 30 to 40 km away. To provide basic infrastructure like roads, power, drainage it costs, according to the previous Government figures, Rs 1 lakh crores as they pegged the cost at Rs 2 crores per acre. In the coming ten years time, the cost would escalate to Rs 6 to 7 lakh crores and we do not have that kind of money to paint such an illusionary picture. In that case our youth have to go to bigger cities like Hyderabad, Chennai or Bengaluru for jobs.
In these circumstances the largest city in the State is Visakhapatnam. It already has the basic infrastructure like roads, drainage and power supply and if we put in some value addition, it will compete with Hyderabad in the coming five to ten years, he said.
This is reality. Taking overall development of all regions into account, we decided to go the decentralization way by making Visakhapatnam the Executive Capital, and keeping the aspirations of other regions in view, this region as Legislative Capital and abiding by the Sri Bagh Pact Kurnool, which gave up its capital status as Judicial Capital. When Kurnool was the capital the High Court was in Guntur and both were shifted to Hyderabad in 1956, he said.
The 2019 election result was resolute vote against the concentration of development in one place and negation of super capital model like Hyderabad. The subsequent elections, which gave us a thumping mandate, acknowledges of our policy of decentralisation which brings all regions and all walks of people into the development fold, he said.
This is why we took up the decentralization keeping in view aspirations of people of all regions. But for the past two years the issue was dragged into legal tangle, propaganda with distortions and mudslinging trying to tell that some people will suffer in the process went on.
This is the reason why we are repealing the Acts and come in with new legislation that would be more comprehensive and all inclusive, he said.
Earlier, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath explaining the salient features of the Repeal Bill said that ‘the subject matter needs further study and consultations to impart further clarity to the policy of decentralisation of the State and explanation to all sections of people exhaustively.
The Government intends to repeal the Acts to enable further consultations with all the stakeholders once again and to present suitable legislation in the future addressing all the concerns of all the regions of the State favoring decentralisation.
The fresh Bill also vividly explains all the good intentions of the Government in relation to decentralized development of all the regions including by providing multiple capitals, to improve the framework and provisions of the law in this regard, to fulfill the aspirations of the people of all the regions of the State and to bring forward suitable legislations to achieve the above stated objectives of decentralized development, it has been decided to the repeal the enactments.