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CAG help to be sought to settle AP assets

Shemin Joy , New Delhi, Oct 6, 2013, DHNS:
Security personnel arrest a protester during a violent protest against creation of a separate Telangana state in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday.   PTI

The Centre will take the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to settle disputes that could arise while apportioning assets and liabilities between the proposed Telangana state and remaining Andhra Pradesh.

While efforts will be made towards persuading the two states for a mutual agreement on sharing the assets and liabilities, any dispute or contentious issue arising between them will be placed before the Central government that will have a say on the matter.

Officials said the Centre cannot move unilaterally in settling the matter, as it has been mandated to consult the government auditor.

Any disagreement on generation and distribution of electricity between the two states will also be determined by the Centre.

Announcement by the Centre last week to create Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh had contrasting reactions, with people in the Telangana region celebrating and those in Seemandhra intensifying their protest against the move.

Officials admitted settling claims and counter-claims by the states will be daunting, since they could hurl accusations at the Centre any time during the negotiations.

Though there are laid-down procedures for the sharing of assets and liabilities, any decision could be perceived as being partial to one region, given the emotionally charged atmosphere.
With Hyderabad eventually falling into the Telangana territory, Seemandhra is expected to bargain hard for a substantial settlement.

The Centre is planning for a substantial package for the residual Andhra Pradesh, besides funds to build its own capital in ten years.

Officials said the government might also specify through an order the amount that would be passed to the proposed state of Telangana.

Also, a provision will be made in the Bill for adequate funds for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh for constructing a new capital, as this exercise require "huge investment".

The sharing of assets and liabilities will be part of the State Reorganisation Bill as well as land and goods, treasury and bank balances, arrears of taxes, right to recover loans and advances, investments and credits in certain funds, assets and liabilities of state undertakings, public debt and refund of taxes collected in excess.

It is also envisaged that the sharing should be subject to such financial adjustment as may be necessary to secure a "just, reasonable and equitable” apportionment between the two states.


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