TS rejects Andhra Pradeshs demand for Singareni Collieries share

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent

12 January 2022

TS also denied ownership of APHMEL, a subsidiary of SCCL, located in Kondapalli, Vijayawada, to the Andhra Pradesh government

HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Wednesday strongly rejected the Andhra Pradesh government's demand seeking share in Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL). The Telangana government also denied ownership of APHMEL (AP Heavy Machinery Engineering Ltd), a subsidiary of SCCL, located in Kondapalli, Vijayawada, to the Andhra Pradesh government.

In the meeting held by the union home ministry with the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday through video conferencing to resolve pending state bifurcation-related issues between both the states, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, made it clear that, "as per Schedule XII A Coal (Item 1)of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, of the total equity of  SCCL, 51 per cent shall be with the government of Telangana and 49 per cent with the government of India. As there is a specific provision in the very Act itself, the government of India should not have entertained any request raised by AP government regarding the same. Further, the issue regarding ownership of APHMEL has been strongly contested by the government of Telangana as it is a subsidiary of SCCL, and it should continue to remain so in the future also."

Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and AP Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma attended the meeting in virtual mode. Somesh Kumar, in a press release issued after the meeting, claimed that union home secretary has concurred with the view of Telangana on SCCL and APHMEL. The Telangana government complained that the AP government blocked resolution of pending bifurcation issues amicably through mutual talks by approaching courts and obtaining stay orders.

It held the AP government responsible for the non-resolution of pending state bifurcation related issues even after more than seven-and-a-half years.

Claims on Discoms dues

The Telangana government submitted its arguments before the Centre on payment of power dues to AP Genco by TS Discoms, disputes regarding Schedule IX, X institutions, division of APSFC (AP State Financial Corporation), AP Bhavan in New Delhi, cash balance and bank deposits and apportionment of tax arrears and refunds.

The Telangana government argued that AP Genco owed Rs 12,111 crore to Telangana power utilities while AP argued that Telangana owed Rs 3,442 crore to AP Genco. Further, AP power utilities filed a case in the High Court.

Telangana demanded that the case be withdrawn so that the amounts can be settled.

Legal hassles on Schedule IX institutions

Among other issues raised by Telangana in the meeting, was the total extent of 5,000 acres of land which was allotted to the Deccan Infrastructure Land Holdings Limited (DILL). It was resumed by Telangana government in 2015 as the conditions of allotment were violated. The AP government filed writ petition against the said GO and obtained a stay order.

Similarly, in the case of APSFC, the AP government went to court and obtained a stay against resumption of 250 acres allotted to APSFC for violation of conditions. The whole issue of bifurcation of Schedule IX institutions is pending because of these court cases filed by the AP government. Hence, the Telangana government has taken a stand that unless court cases are withdrawn further progress on the bifurcation of Schedule IX institutions cannot be made.

Schedule X institutions

With regard to disputes over Schedule X institutions, the Telangana government argued that in the case of AP State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE), the government of India issued an order in 2017 in pursuance of directions issued by the Supreme Court. The same
principle which is contained in the said order should be made applicable for all the Schedule X Institutions also. However, the AP government questioned this very order issued by the government of India and filed a writ petition in the High Court. Telangana is of the view that unless the writ petition is withdrawn, the disputes regarding Schedule-X institutions cannot be resolved.

Division of AP Bhavan, tax arrears

With regard to dispute over division of AP Bhavan in New Delhi, Telangana suggested that a committee consisting of K. Ramakrishna Rao, special chief secretary, finance and EnC, R&B, besides resident commissioner, Telangana, with their counterparts of Andhra Pradesh may be constituted and the said committee may give a report giving various options for the division of AP Bhavan.

Somesh Kumar claimed that the union home secretary concurred with the same and has said that the committee may give a report in a time-bound manner.

With regard to apportionment of tax arrears and refund- Section 50, 51 & 56 of the AP Reorganisation Act 2014 and apportionment of institutions was not listed anywhere in the Act, the Telangana government expressed its view that there was no need to take up amendment of the Act.

With regard to division of cash balance and bank deposits, the Telangana government made a strong demand that the funds which are due from AP should be settled immediately and payment be made.

In case of Central sector schemes, an amount of Rs 495 crore is due for more than seven years. Similarly, there are dues payable by AP on the funds spent on common institutions such as High Court, Raj Bhavan etc., to a tune of Rs 315 crore. Even the funds which are accepted such as the share of buildings under construction, labour welfare fund of Rs 456 crore and resumption of net credit forward of Rs 208 crore is also not paid.

Union home secretary suggested that two nodal officers be appointed to look into division of cash balances. Telangana has nominated K. Rama Krishna Rao, special chief secretary, finance and AP has nominated S.S.Rawat, special chief secretary, finance as nodal officers.

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