Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu looks firm on mobilising money from the people to build his dream capital – Amaravati. The senior officials of the government are working on the scheme to mobilise funds from the people and utilise the same for building the new capital.
Having betrayed by the BJP, as he claims, he is firm on finding his own ways to fund the capital. The officials of the finance ministry are now on the job working out the modalities. They are also studying various models of collecting money from people for various projects. The collection would be in the form of donations, deposits and other forms are being studied now. The government had also constituted a committee headed by Planning Board vice-chairman C Kutumba Rao to study the proposal and work out modalities. Finance secretary M Ravichandra, APCRDA commissioner Ch Sreedhar and APNRT president V Ravikumar are members of the committee.
The committee would study the methodology being followed by the National Highways Authority of India, HUDCO, Indian Railway Finance Corporation, Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Finance Corporation which have been taking money from the people and issuing bonds to them. The Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation is also collecting funds from the people to build bus stations and provide other infrastructure.
The Chief Minister wants people to restrain from fixed deposits with the banks and give the same to the government to build the capital. The government would issue bonds for them and had promised higher rate of interest on the deposits. The committee headed by Kutumba Rao would study the mechanism to receive the bonds, including floating of a finance corporation for the capital.
As it appears, Chandrababu Naidu banks on NRIs to come forward to donate funds and deposit their capital. The AP Non-Resident Telugus (APNRT) association is being engaged in mobilising money from the NRIs. There are a handful of industrialists close to the TDP on whom the Chief Minister is banking more to give donations and deposits. The Chief Minister had invited donations from the people several times in the past. When the Hudh Hudh cyclone had hit Visakhapatnam, he had invited contributions from the people. Similarly for Amaravati, he had received donations in the form of buying bricks and directly giving donations.
Now, without depending on the Central government for funds, though the Central government is constitutionally binding to fund the capital, Chandrababu Naidu wants to use peoples’ contribution as a slogan. This, according to him, would benefit him in two ways – one to get money and the other to get votes as the mission has to be completed and a vote against him in the next election would be treated as a vote against Amaravati.
“Mana Amaravati – Mana Prabhutvam” is likely to be the new slogan for Chandrababu Naidu when he goes for the next election. However, it is to be seen if it works as a sentiment to give him power for another term.