Hits, misses and many a pause

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on July 09, 2014

Chandrababu Naidu seems to have begun to revert to his pet projects

A month in office, Naidu struggles to find his feet

It’s a month since N Chandrababu Naidu took over as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. The post came with considerable baggage, particularly confrontation with the newly bifurcated State of Telangana.

Naidu seems to have begun to revert to his pet projects. For starters, he is out to re-chart the Vision 2020 document, bringing out a series of white papers to inform people about the current status of key sectors such as power and finance.

The CM has taken some major decisions after being sworn in on June 8. The retirement age for State Government employees has been increased from 58 to 60. Orders have been passed for pensions for some sections and for the closing down of illegal liquor shops.

However, the key election promise of loan waiver for farmers, weavers and self-help groups is yet to be implemented.

The loan waiver scheme has hit a hurdle in the form of the RBI and bankers. A panel set up under former Nabard chief P Kotaiah has finalised the modalities and the decision of the Government on its recommendations with the concurrence of bankers will be vital. The farm sector is pinning its hopes on the scheme for securing new loans.

Naidu has made a few visits to Delhi, seeking help from various ministries for liberal financial assistance and urging the Centre to grant special category status.

The State has seen at least three major tragedies including one where over 24 engineering students lost their lives in the Beas while on a tour and another where a GAIL gas pipeline blast killed 16.

Some key decisions — such as the move to scrap power purchase agreements with distribution companies — have been received with much concern by Telangana. Thereafter, several issues have flared up between the two States, including on sharing of power and water assets.

There is still no clarity on where the new capital will come up, the guesses being Guntur-Vijayawada or Visakhapatnam.

Overall, progress has been rather slow. Naidu is still working from a makeshift office in Lake View Guest House, with no sign of the space allocated to him in the divided Secretariat getting ready. This is tough on a CM who is known to hold long review meetings.

Roads and Building Department officials, who normally take care of the upkeep of such properties, insist that they are bound by their jurisdiction.

Published on July 09, 2014

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