Telangana govt plans to table resolution against governor
The Telangana government is contemplating introducing a resolution against the alleged recalcitrant attitude of governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan towards several bills adopted by the state legislative assembly.
The Telangana government is contemplating introducing a resolution against the alleged recalcitrant attitude of governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan towards several bills adopted by the state legislative assembly more than two months ago, a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader familiar with the matter said.
The leader, who did not wish to be named, said the resolution will be adopted in the winter session of the assembly, which is likely to be held in the second week of December.
“Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has directed state legislative affairs minister Vemula Prashant Reddy to initiate the process for commencement of a week-long assembly session in December,” the TRS leader said.
A resolution will also be adopted, requesting the Centre to take steps for amending Article 200 of the Constitution, fixing a specific time frame for governors to take a call on bills passed by the legislature, irrespective of whether they decide to approve or reject the bills on certain grounds, the leader added.
On September 14, the Telangana assembly passed eight bills, including one on the constitution of a common recruitment board for making appointments in 15 state universities, of which the governor is the chancellor.
Of the eight bills, seven are pending assent from the Raj Bhavan, as reported by HT on October 15, indicating a possible widening of differences between chief minister Rao and governor Soundararajan.
The governor gave her assent to one bill – Telangana Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022, seeking inclusion of some more items under the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST) as per a decision taken at a GST council meeting held by the Union finance ministry in June.
Seven bills, however, are awaiting the governor’s assent. They are: the University of Forestry Telangana Bill 2022, Azamabad Industrial Area (Termination and Regulation of Leases) (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill-2022, the Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of age of superannuation) (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill 2022, the Telangana motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill 2022 and Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation) Amendments Bill, 2022.
A senior Raj Bhavan official earlier said the governor would go through each and every file before coming to any conclusion.
Chief ministers of several non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal in the past have also raised concerns over the governor’s delay in approving the bills cleared by the respective state assemblies.
On November 23, senior TRS leader and former MP B Vinod Kumar wrote a letter to the law commission, suggesting that the Central government amend Article 200 of the Constitution, replacing the term “as soon as possible” with a term that’s more specific such as “within 30 days,” for the governors to give their consent to the bills.
The TRS leader quoted above said the state government is also expected to adopt another resolution, condemning the restrictions imposed by the Centre on borrowings by the state to fund its various development and welfare schemes.
An official statement from the chief minister’s office (CMO) on Friday said Telangana suffered a shortfall of more than ₹40,000 crore in revenue for the year 2022-23 due to these restrictions. “The chief minister said there was every need to explain to the people of the state from the legislative assembly about these restrictions in detail,” it said.
The state government prepared the budget for 2022-23 and was expecting to receive ₹54,000 crore revenue through various means. “However, the Centre has suddenly reduced the borrowing limit of the state under Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) Act, restricting it to around ₹39,000 crore. Thus, the state government suffered a loss of revenue amounting to ₹15,033 crore,” the statement said.
It said Telangana was eligible to avail additional borrowing of 0.5 per cent under the FRBM Act. It said it also lost out the option of mobilising ₹6,104 crore loan due to the Centre’s restrictions to implement power reforms. Besides, the Centre also stopped non-budgetary funds amounting to another ₹20,000 crore due to the state.
“The state government is planning to expose these conspiracies during the upcoming assembly session,” the official statement said.