High-power panel on Andhra Pradesh capital to engage with all stakeholders

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NEW DELHI: The high-powered committee (HPC) of ministers and bureaucrats, which conducted its first meeting here on Tuesday, has decided to engage all stakeholders in talks before finalising its report on the state capital issue.

The HPC, which has 10 ministers and six bureaucrats, including the state Chief Secretary, is supposed to deliberate the reports of the six-member experts committee and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) before and work on the concept of “decentralised development” and chalk out a “strategy on the way forward.”

“We have basically felt that there should be decentralization of both administration and development (in the state). We will analyse the reports of the experts committee and the BCG and also discuss with all stakeholders all issues before submitting our report, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath told reporters after the four-hour-long meeting.

He said another meeting of the HPC would be held in two or three days and the report might be submitted by January 20.

Retired bureaucrat G N Rao, who headed the six-member committee of experts, attended the HPC meeting and explained the major recommendations they made.

Representatives of BCG also presented the salient features of their report.

Both the G N Rao committee and the BCG recommended that the state Secretariat, the seat of power, be located in port city Visakhapatnam.

They suggested that the Legislature be continued in Amaravati and the High Court be shifted to Kurnool, with a bench each in Visakhapatnam and Amaravati.

While the Rao committee recommended setting up of four regional commissionerates covering the entire state, the BCG suggested six such units.

Their recommendations were in line with Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s idea that the state could have “three capitals” as “decentralisation was a real concept.

Source: Press Trust of India