Hyderabad, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to devolve more funds and powers to the states.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief said he wants the Centre to help states like Telangana which are growing faster as the wealth of the states will ultimately become wealth of the nation.
KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, also cautioned the Modi government against curtailing fast growing states by disincentivising them, saying this would amount to curtailing the nation’s growth.
Speaking at India Today south conclave here, he said while he appreciate Modi for increasing tax allocation to states from 30 to 42 per cent, he should fully implement slogan of cooperative federalism.
“He should devolve more funds and powers to the state. That should be slogan of the day. Unless you make states powerful, you will not become powerful.
“Wealth of every state should be considered wealth of the nation. Curtailing any state will be curtailing growth of the nation and the nation will not forget it,” KCR added.
On relations with Modi, he said Telangana like any other state was trying to have cordial relations with the Centre. “It’s for Modi to reciprocate,” he remarked.
The TRS chief reiterated the demand that the Centre should allow states to have own reservation policy based on their specific requirements.
He defended the move to provide 12 per cent reservation to minorities and also increase the quota for scheduled tribes from 6 per cent to 10 per cent.
KCR said he met the Prime Minister and explained him that different states have different dimensions and population scenarios.
“It’s for centre to rise and come forward and allow the states to go ahead with their independent reservation policy,” he said.
Pointing out that SCs, STs, backward classes and other weaker sections are 90 per cent of Telangana’s population, he said he can’t satisfy people with 50 per cent reservation.
He announced that TRS will raise the issue in the budget session of Parliament.
KCR also made it clear that he will remain equi-distance from both BJP and Congress. “We don’t see any requirement to go with anybody,” he said but added that anybody can come with the TRS.
He explained that within a short span of three and half years, Telangana had made rapid strides in many sectors and became number one state in the country in terms of own resources.
KCR listed out the steps taken by his government to overcome electricity shortage, revive rural economy, resolve crisis in agriculture and use allotted share of water from Godavari and Krishna rivers to irrigate one crore acre of land by 2020.
He said Telangana was spending Rs 40,000 crore annually, the highest by any state in the country, on welfare schemes. The government this year will be launching a new scheme to provide Rs 8,000 as investment assistance per acre annually to 71 lakh farmers.
Stating that there is no comparison with Andhra Pradesh, he said Telangana was much ahead of the neighbouring state.
He said his government was seeking Rs 20,000 crore loan from a bank in China for various infrastructure projects in Hyderabad. “The city needs an investment of Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore to become truly global city,” he said.
He assured that the government will ensure that Hyderabad infrastructure doesn’t crumble with the rapid growth.