Telangana Regional Committee
The State’s Reorganization Commission (SRC) 1955, while recommending the formation of a separate State of Telangana had given, as one of the reasons for this recommendation, the apprehension of the people of Telengana that the region would suffer financially if it formed part of a Visalandhra. The Commission noted that “the existing Andhra State has faced a financial problem of some magnitude ever since it was created; and, in comparison with Telengana, the existing Andhra State has a lower per-capita revenue. Telengana, on the other hand, is much less likely to be faced with financial embarrassment. The much higher incidence of land revenue in Telengana and excise revenue of the order of Rs. 5 crores per annum principally explains this difference. Whatever the explanation may be, some Telengana leaders seem to fear that the result of unification will be to exchange some settled sources of revenue, out of which development schemes may be financed, for financial uncertainty similar to that with which Andhra is now faced.”
At the time of the formation of Andhra Pradesh, there was a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” in February 1956 between the leaders of Andhra and Telengana which addressed these fears of the Telengana leaders and committed itself to certain assurances for Telengana. The signatories to that agreement were Sri B. Gopal Reddy, Sri N. Sanjeeva Reddy, Sri A. Sathyanarayana Raju and Sri G. Latchanna for Andhra and Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao, Sri K.V. Ranga Reddy. Dr. M. Channa Reddy and Sri J.V. Narsing Rao from Telengana.
The terms of this Agreement, spelt out in a Paper laid on the Table of the House in Parliament, Provided among other matters, for a Regional Standing Committee of the State Assembly for Telengana Region consisting of the Members of the Assembly belonging to that region including the Ministers from that region but not including the Chief Minister. Legislation relating to specified matters was to referred to the Regional Committee. In respect of such matters the Commttee could also propose to the State Government legislation or any question of general policy “not involving any financial commitments”. The matters that the Committee could deal with were indicated as:
- Development and Economic Planning within the frame work of the general development plans and policies formulated by the State Legislature.
- Local Self-Government that is to say, the Constitutional powers of Municipal Corporations, Improvement Trust, District Boards and other district authorities for the purposes of local self-government or village administration.
- public Health and sanitation, local hospitals and dispensaries.
- Primary and Secondary education.
- Regulation of admissions to the educational institutions in the Telengana region.
- Sale of agricultural cards.
- Cottage and small scale Industries.
- Agriculture, Cooperatives Societies, Markets and Fairs.
From 1968 there was an agitation in the Telengana region which came to be known as the Telengana agitation. Consequent on this, the Prime Minister made a statement in the Lok Sabha on April 11, 1969 dealing with various issues which had resulted in the agitation. Since there has been a lackof understanding between the Government and the TRC, regarding what had been called “Telengana Surpluses”, it was announced in this statement that the Central Government would appoint a Committee with a serving or retired Supreme Court Judge, “to go into the varying estimates and representations and determining the surplus relatable to Telengana which was expected to have been spent on the development of the Telengana region”. Accordingly, a Committee was appointed with Sri Justice Vashist Bhargava, a Judge of the Supreme Court, as Chairman.
On 21st August, 1969, the TRC adopted the recommendations made by a Committee on a motion moved by Sri J. Vengal Rao, (then Minister for Home). In this motion the Committee suggested, among other matters, that the Presidential Order 1958 regarding the Regional Committee should be suitably amended to bring in matters relating to principles and methods of recruitment for securing equitable and adequate opportunities for employment in Government and Quasi Government services for the people of the Telengana region; matters relating to equation of posts and integration of services of the employees of the former Governments of Andhra and Hyderabad; the Annual Financial Statement in so far as it relates to receipts and expenditure for Telengana region and development and economic planning within the approved allocations for the Telengana region.
In order to allay the fears of the people of Telengana the Government of India announced on 18th February, 1970 a “series of measures intended to ensure the development of Telengana.” These included a widening of the subjects which the Telengana Region Committee (TRC) could discuss and of the powers of this Committee in respect there of. Accordingly a Presidential Order was issued on 7th March 1970 under Article 371 amending the original order of 1958.
The list of subjects failing within the purview of the Regional Committee was enlarged to also include University education in addition to the existing primary and secondary education and medium and heavy industry in addition to the existing small scale industries. The following item was substituted under item (9) of the first schedule i.e., matters in so far as they relate to the Telengana which come within the purview of the Regional Committee. “Development and economic planning within the plan allocations for the Telengana region as formulated by the State Legislature”.
The order also provided that “in the annual financial statement details regarding the receipts and expenditure in relation to the Telengana region and rest of the State (RoS) shall be shown in separate columns for facility of reference and consideration by the Regional Committee”.
The Order also modified the earlier rule which had restricted the Regional Committee to matters not involving any financial commitment by introducing the words “is in conformity with the overall financial arrangements contemplated in the annual budget or in the Five Year Plan pertaining to the Telengana region”.
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