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KCR’s politically correct move

KCR’s politically correct move
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Ever since Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been a...

Ever since Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been a marked change in his attitude that borders on ‘softness’ towards the NDA government at the Centre.

The way he defended the demonetisation scheme in the State Legislature left even the BJP members speechless. Not one to miss out on a rare political ‘opportunity’, the BJP too has suddenly adopted a soft line vis-à-vis towards the KCR-led TRS government. It has been virtually appreciating every move of the government in the State Assembly much to the dismay of MIM, which is perceived as an ally of the TRS.

In fact, the discomfort within the MIM was on show when its floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, wondered how KCR was inclining towards, when they were supporting TRS. Speculations were rife that TRS is inching closer to the BJP.

However, the TRS leadership has strongly denied such overtones. Insiders insist that the change of heart is not without a reason. Having completed half its term, the ruling party needs to perform on the ground in order to return to power. Towards achieving this, some kind of handholding by the Centre was paramount, particularly because of economic compulsions.

Following demonetisation, there has been steep fall in the state’s revenue collections, more so in real estate and excise sectors. Added to it there has been reduction in releases from the Centre towards tax devolution. This has put additional burden on the exchequer which is finding it difficult to implement the social sector programmes.

The State had expected to get Rs 13,995 crore as its share in Central taxes for the current financial year, payable in 14 equal installments of Rs 997 crore each. However, the State received only six installments of Rs 997 crore and another of Rs 585 crore towards the end of 2015. This has made the government to start re-working on its strategies and budget proposals for 2017-18.

In the backdrop of such a situation, the TS government felt that if it has to expect a helping hand from the Centre, it should remain friendly with it. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who has been reviewing the impact of demonetisation on the state’s revenue every day with ministers and senior officials, is learnt to be informing them that he has clear indications that Centre would distribute the cash accrued to it through demonetisation among all states in the ratio of at least 42 per cent.

It is for this reason that the CM not only kept himself away from agitation programmes over demonetisation but also walked the extra mile to send clear indications that they were not opposed to 0the measures that are aimed at curbing black money.

Rao has reportedly hinted in meetings with ministers and officials that he had information about RBI being asked to print new currency notes for the amount not deposited with banks. The Central government would disburse amount accrued following demonetisation among the states to compensate for the revenue losses suffered by them after December 31.

This is likely to help the State Government to take forward the ongoing flagship programmes like Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha, irrigation projects and various other ongoing welfare schemes. The general assumption is that the State will stand to gain if remained in the good books of the centre.

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