Andhra Pradesh

Despite hurdles, AP CM confident of leading state to prosperity

Chandrababu Naidu (File) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu believes that innovative ideas and technology would play a major role in making AP a happy state.

The CM had, at the recently held Collectors Conference, spoke about the government focusing on improving the happiness index of the state which is an indicator of healthy economic growth. The CM said the main aim of the government was to ensure at least 80 per cent of the people are happy. Admitting that there are several hurdles faced by the state while achieving this target, especially with the bifurcation and the financial constraints it brought along, he said efforts are being made to overcome this.

''Agriculture is doing well, but horticulture is doing even better. Livestock is doing better than horticulture, while fisheries has surpassed them all in growth rate,” he said at the conference. Noting that water resources and their effective management is vital to sustainable economy, he said they are focusing on ensuring water security.

Elaborating on how the dry spell in Rayalaseema was taken care of by using rain guns, Naidu said Godavari water through Pattiseema and recent flood water in Krishna would ensure 100 per cent ayacut in Krishna delta. While he is looking at the future of the state, he still has certain speed breakers, slowing him down, but not stopping him.

There has always been complaints against the Andhra Pradesh government over its unwillingness to include local firms in the construction of the capital city. The Andhra Pradesh Infrastructure Development Enabling Act talks of Swiss Challenge (a form of public procurement which requires a public authority which has received an unsolicited bid for a public project or services to be provided to government, to publish the bid and invite third parties to match or exceed it) saying the private sector participant should submit an unsolicited or suo motu proposal. The Act goes on to define the basis of the method as ‘an unsolicited or suo motu proposal' which would mean a project not already initiated by the government or agency or local authority.

Naidu's penchant for 'anything foreign' had drawn flak from the Opposition after he approved a proposal submitted by a consortium of private companies in Singapore for the development of the capital city as per a Swiss Challenge model. The government had said the model was adopted for making Amaravati a 'world-class' city.

Two construction companies had filed petitions against the Swiss Challenge method of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) inviting bids for development of 6.84sq km of seed capital region of the capital. The petitioners wanted to know the revenue share offered by the Singapore consortium which was awarded the seed capital development project by the government on June 24 this year. The state government had earlier stated that it would disclose the details only to bidders who qualify for the bidding process.

The Hyderabad High Court had stayed the bidding process started by the AP government for the construction of the seed capital area of Amaravati. The single judge bench ordered the stay in the wake of two separate petitions filed by two construction companies, challenging the Swiss Challenge, alleging that it was illegal.

The court asked the government to submit its response and posted the hearing to October 31.

The AP government, in fact, had told the High Court that it never intended to exclude Indian companies from participating in the tender process, adding that it only insisted that the government wanted firms with international experience in order to ensure that the companies taking part in the bidding process are competent. The government pointed out that two or three firms, with one of them having international experience, could form a consortium. This way, the state government said, even Indian firms could tie up and file a competent bid under Swiss Challenge method under which a 'master developer' would be selected.

While the Capital construction project was just worth Rs 3,100 crore, the government only insisted that the firms must have a net worth of Rs 2,000 crore. Currently, the plan is to get a start-up capital constructed, which would itself trigger growth in the entire capital city area.

The construction was planned in a phased manner with the Singapore consortium constructing completing the first phase. The second phase of construction would begin after selling 70 per cent of the developed plots.

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Topics : #Andhra Pradesh

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