What’s there in Cabinet Note

By: Sujai Karampuri

The Cabinet Note concedes that demand for Telangana is indeed an old one which witnessed ‘violent movements’ during 1969. It admits that the demand for separate State of Telangana gathered momentum after the Common Minimum Programme of 2004 agreed for ‘formation of Telangana State would be considered at an appropriate time after due consultations and consensus’.

The Cabinet Note discusses the 9th December 2009 statement and subsequent decisions and meetings held with various stakeholders including the appointment of Srikrishna Committee in 2010.

The Cabinet Note declares that ‘Hyderabad will be the common capital of both States for a period of ten years after the formation of the State of Telangana’ and agrees to ‘put in place legal and administrative measures to ensure that both State Governments can function efficiently from the common capital during the said period of ten years’. The note agrees to ‘assist the building of a new capital for the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh within a period of ten years’.

The note agrees to enact a legislation in ‘regard to the creation of the proposed State of Telangana and the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh’ while declaring the name of the new state to be ‘Telangana’. It concedes that the ‘region known as Telangana was part of the erstwhile State of Hyderabad’, and the new state will consist of ten districts of the existing State of Andhra Pradesh, namely, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Nizamabad, Warangal, Rangareddi, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Khammam and Hyderabad.

The note proposes that ‘Hyderabad may function as the joint capital for both the State for a period of ten years’.

[Observation: The note uses the terms of ‘joint-capital’ and ‘common-capital’ interchangeably. It frequently uses the word ‘may’.]

The note proposes that ‘new capital for the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh may be decided expeditiously to enable the process of transition within the stipulated period of ten years subsequent to its formation’.

The note considers the possibility of ‘appointing the same person as the Governor for both the successor States’ saying that Article 153 is not violated, but also suggests that ‘separate Governors may be appointed for each of the successor states’.

The representation in Parliament is divided as follows: Andhra Pradesh to have 11 seats in Rajya Sabha and 25 seats in Lok Sabha. Telangana to have 7 seats in Rajya Sabha and 17 seats in Lok Sabha.

The legislative assemblies are divided as follows: Andhra Pradesh to have 175 members and Telangana will have 119 members. The lone sitting member nominated under Article 333 of Indian Constitution ‘may’ be deemed to have been nominated in Telangana.

On the subject of High Court, the note proposes that ‘existing High Court may exercise its jurisdiction over both the States until the arrangements are made for setting up separate High Courts within the respective jurisdictions of both the States’.

On authorization of expenditure, the note writes: ‘Based on the past precedent, it is proposed that necessary provision may be made in the Bill empowering the Governor of the existing State of Andhra Pradesh to authorize, at any time before the appointed day, such expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State as he may deem necessary for a period of not more than six months beginning with the appointed day, pending the sanction of such expenditure by the Legislature of the new State of Telangana’.

‘In addition, the Bill may provide for distribution of revenue between the two Successor States.’

‘Any dispute regarding the amount of financial assets and liabilities may be settled through mutual agreement between the two States, failing which by an order of the Central Government on the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’.

‘Based on past precedent, the Central Government may by order specify the amount that would pass to the State of Telangana’.

‘Taking note of the fact that on bifurcation of the existing State of Andhra Pradesh, the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh will have to develop a new capital requiring huge investment, a provision may be made in the bill that adequate funds shall be determined and earmarked by the Government of India towards the cost of construction of the new capital of the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh’.

On the distribution of water resources, the note proposes that the ‘Central Government may be empowered to give directions in all matters relating to inter-state river water issues and also determine fair distribution and use of water between the two Successor States’. It also suggests that a Water Management Board may be constituted while Polavaram may be declared as National Project.

On Article 371-D, the note observes that this provision ‘would need to be suitably amended or repealed based on the decision of GoM’.

The GoM would consist of following Union Cabinet Ministers/Ministers of State with Independent Charge
1. Home

2. Finance

3. Law

4. HRD

5. Water Resources

6. Urban Development

7. Road Transport and Highways

8. Power

9. Personnel

10. Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission

The GoM will look into ‘legal and administrative measures required to ensure that both the State Governments can function efficiently from Hyderabad as the common capital for 10 years’, and ‘issues relating to law and order, safety and security of all residents’.

The GoM has to make its recommendations within a period of six weeks.

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