Tuesday, February 27, 2024

‘Special tag promise to AP should be fulfilled’

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YSRCP Parliamentary Party leader V Vijayasai Reddy during the all-party meeting held on Monday in Delhi pointed out the Special Category Status (SCS) that was promised to Andhra Pradesh on the floor of Parliament at the time of bifurcation. This commitment must be honoured keeping in mind the losses suffered by the State due to unjust bifurcation.

The Rajya Sabha MP recalled that as per the National Commission the minimum number of days for sitting of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha should be 100 and 120 days per year and expressed hope that the recommendation will be implemented and in 2023, there shall be at least 100 days of Parliament sittings.

The other issues pointed out by the YSRCP MP are various assurances made on the floor of the Parliament at the time of state bifurcation as well as various obligations under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 that are yet to be fulfilled by the Centre.

He also brought to the notice at the all-party meeting that the new government medical colleges are required in the State given that private investment for super-specialty hospitals is not forthcoming due to the lack of Tier-I cities post-bifurcation. Financial assistance is needed for setting up 12 new government medical colleges to ensure that each district has at least 1 government medical college.

The other important issue raised was the Polavaram Irrigation Project which is a long-standing aspiration of the people of Andhra Pradesh and requests timely clearance of pending issues. Investment clearance for Revised Cost Estimate II (Rs. 55,549 crores), Funding for drinking water components (Rs 4,068 crores), Removal of component-wise restrictions (Rs 2,937 crores) and Processing of Land Acquisition / Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LA/R&R) bills under Direct Benefit Transfer.

The other important issues raised were women’s issues like women’s safety, education, employment, and nutrition should be taken up for discussion in this session. The long-standing demand for 33% reservation for women in union and state legislatures should also be taken up.

Regarding farmers’ issues, the Farm Bills were repealed more than a year ago but many demands of the farmer community remain unaddressed, one of which includes the legal right to MSP for all crops.

The blue economy was also raised as India has a vast coastline which provides various opportunities to promote aquaculture. Our coastal economy supports over 3 crore people and contributes Rs 1.5 trillion to the GDP.

Backward classes constitute half of our population, we still do not have updated data on their population and socio-economic state. The caste-wise enumeration of backward classes in the upcoming decennial census is necessary to formulate scientific policies for their welfare.

The other issue that needs to be discussed was cyber security, as per the government data, cyber attacks in India have been constantly increasing from 53,000 incidents in 2017 to a whopping 14 lakh in 2021. The recent cyber-attack on AIIMS was an eye-opener as to the vulnerabilities in our cyber security infrastructure and this issue will also be taken up for discussion.

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