The discussion on the World Bank's decision to drop the $300 million loan proposal for the Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project caused a ruckus in Andhra Pradesh Assembly with parties trading charges
Amaravati: The World Bank loan issue rocked the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday (July 22) as the ruling YSR Congress and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members traded charges, forcing an abrupt adjournment of the House for the day.
For the first time, during the current session, the TDP members stormed the Speaker's podium after their leader N Chandrababu Naidus speech was cut short, even as the YSRC legislators mocked their opposition colleagues.
Amid the confusion, the government introduced six bills on various subjects, which chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy hailed as “a historic moment”.
After the Question Hour, finance and legislative affairs minister Buggana Rajendranath made a statement on the World Bank's decision to drop the $300 million loan proposal for the Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project.
"Moreover, the actions of the previous government have embarrassed the nation, as it is the first time that an independent panel of the World Bank recommended an investigation into a project that was not yet approved by its board," the finance minister said, listing out the chronology of the loan proposal.
Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, however, maintained there was no corruption or irregularities involved in the construction of capital city Amaravati, which the YSRCP members dubbed Bhramaravati (an illusionary town).
"It was a self-financing project. After all the development, the government would have been left with 7,000-8,000 acres of land that could have been monetised to repay the loans, but the YSRCP got numerous petitions filed against the project, thereby dismantling the loan," he alleged.
The Jagan Mohan Reddy government left the Centre in a particular situation and forced it to withdraw the loan proposal before the World Bank, he added.
As Naidu continued to read out figures from a note, Speaker Tammineni Sitaram said the former could only seek clarification on the minister’s statement but not make a counterstatement.
The ruling side also objected to the opposition leader’s speech, following which the Speaker ordered Naidu's mike to be switched off and asked him to conclude.
The finance minister then pointed out that contracts for infrastructure development works were awarded at far excess rates to select firms, leading to adverse remarks by the World Bank.
“A contract for laying one km stretch of road was awarded for Rs 32 crore. Is this not looting (of public money)? Are you laying the road to heaven?”, Buggana wondered.
The World Bank was reported to have accepted the DEA proposal and informed it would be happy to support additional recommendations for financing from the Andhra Pradesh government, the finance minister added.
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Last Updated Jul 22, 2019, 8:52 PM IST