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Boston Consulting Group for decentralised development of AP

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 04, 2020 Published on January 04, 2020

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy (file photo)

The eagerly awaited Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report has not revealed any big surprise. It has virtually toed the line of the earlier GN Rao Expert Committee on Andhra Pradesh Capital by pitching for a decentralised growth model.

Interestingly, both these expert teams have endorsed in a way the thinking of Chief Minister, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who took everybody by surprise when he announced a tri-Capital model with Visakhapatnam, Amaravati and Kurnool distributing the responsibilities, in the State Assembly during mid December, 2019.

The announcement immediately kicked up a row with former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Chief, N Chandrababu Naidu criticising it. The Bharatiya Janata Party too joined in the protests that ensued. The ruling YSR Congress leaders said, the final decision would be taken after the GN Rao Committee submitted its report

As expected, the Rao Committee endorsed the AP chief minister’s thinking and favoured the distributed, tri-City capital model. It divided the state into multiple development regions based on strengths and weakness and suggested ways of economic development.

The recommendations only raised further furore with the farmers in several villages who gave a total of 33,000 acres of their lands for the construction of Amaravati as the capital. They took to protest, with the backing of the TDP, BJP, Jana Sena of Pawan Kalyan and the left parties.

Sensing the mood, the State Government quickly appointed the BCG, a global consulting firm, whose services Naidu had also utilised earlier, to examine the issue and submit a report in a week. Meanwhile, the opposition though weak as the YSR Congress has over 150 of the 175 strength in the Legislative Assembly was trying to step up the pressure by whipping up the farmers loss and calling the move as ‘impractical’.

The BCG Report

On Friday, Vijaykumar, Secretary to Planning Department said that the BCG report has suggested decentralized development of all regions with a balanced and inclusive growth strategy.

The recommendation that supports the tri-capital model is the recommendation of dividing the government departments into six that includes Secretariat, Governor and Chief Minister offices in Visakhapatnam, Assembly in Vijayawada or Amaravati, and High Court in Kurnool.

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New Capital

The BCG has compared various global cities and has said that the success ratio for economic development was very low to build a new capital city.

It was mentioned that Singapore and Hongkong have only 2 per cent of the compound annual growth rate in the past 40 years. It takes more than 40 years for the development if Rs 1 lakh crore would be spent for Amaravati construction. About Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 crore would be spent on only debt services for the capital city construction, it added.

Recommendations

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Releasing the salient features to the media, Vijaykumar said the report has divided the 13 districts in the state into 6 regions. These are: Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam districts coastal Andhra, West Godavari, and East Godavari districts as Godavari delta, Krishna and Guntur districts as Krishna delta, Kadapa and Chittoor as East Rayalaseema, Anantapur and Kurnool as West Rayalaseema.

He said that the BCG report has taken the economy, industry, agriculture, services, infrastructure, and social infrastructure aspects into consideration. The report says five express highways would be required for the state with the existing highways and ports, airports should be developed on a large scale.

About Rs, 1,76,000 crore would be required for the irrigation projects in the state for providing drinking and irrigation water to every corner of the state.

Published on January 04, 2020
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