Newly elected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy gestures during his swearing-in ceremony, at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada. (Source: PTI)

YSJ Reddy Government Cancels Some Projects Sanctioned By Chandrababu Naidu

Hours after it assumed office, the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh Thursday decided to cancel all projects sanctioned prior to April 1, 2019 by the previous N Chandrababu Naidu government but work on which was yet to take-off.

Setting pro-poor with zero tolerance for corruption as its motto, the YSRC government took the decision even before new Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy is slated to undertake a review of the government departments in the first week next month.

These projects running into thousands of crores of rupees were hurriedly sanctioned by the TDP government just days before the schedule for the general elections was announced in March and the foundation stone laid by Naidu for them.

As the Jaganmohan Reddy government took charge following its resounding victory in the elections, state Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam wrote a note to all departments stating that works sanctioned prior to April 1, 2019 but not grounded (work not commenced) are cancelled.

The Chief Secretary’s note assumes significance in the light of Reddy's assertion after his swearing-in that any existing contract for development projects would be scrapped if corruption was detected. He also announced a Judicial Commission headed by a High Court judge would henceforth clear all contracts (for major projects).

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Ever since his party's victory in the elections on May 23, Reddy then as the Chief Minister-designate has held a series of confabulations with his advisor Ajeya Kallam, the Chief Secretary and a few other top bureaucrats.

Highly-placed official sources said major infrastructure projects like the Bhogapuram International Airport, Ramayapatnam Port, Kadapa Steel Plant, Bandar Port, Amaravati Iconic Bridge and Muktyala Lift Irrigation scheme whose estimated cost ran into thousands of crores of rupees would now stand cancelled. Besides, several other works sanctioned in the capital city Amaravati will also come under the scanner, according to the sources.

It is noted that a number of engineering works were sanctioned earlier even by relaxing the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act norms, resulting in huge burden on the state exchequer. There is also a case for thorough review of ongoing projects as priorities have not been followed.

"It is, therefore, decided that all the departments concerned will first halt works, the Chief Secretary said in the internal note. He advised the departments be prudent in this regard. First, works sanctioned prior to 01-04-2019 but not grounded are cancelled, Subrahmanyam said.

Observing that thin spread of resources was proving to be financially unwise, he also directed that works grounded but whose expenditure so far was less than 25 percent of the originally estimated value be reviewed afresh.

The government desires to be regarded as pro-poor with zero tolerance for corruption," he said.

Secretaries were requested to adhere to this motto and clearly state that they have undertaken a thorough review of works and procedures in vogue. "If business rules have been moderated or sacrificed, steps are to be initiated for obtaining orders from appropriate authorities afresh, the Chief Secretary said.

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