19-07-201919-07-2019 12:58:05 IST
Updated On 20-07-2019 11:52:33 ISTUpdated On 20-07-20192019-07-19T07:28:05.302Z19-07-2019 2019-07-19T07:26:30.381Z - 2019-07-20T06:22:33.349Z - 20-07-2019
Another factor that is being speculated as a possible reason for the decision is a World Bank’s prerequisite for Amaravati project making a prior survey mandatory for granting its loans. This has reportedly turned out to be a stumbling block following objections from the Central government. The Centre was said to be of the opinion that agreeing to this pre-condition would set a bad precedent for all the future projects in the country involving the World Bank. It is being said that with the state government refusing to the prerequisite, the World Bank was constrained to withdraw its financial commitment.
All the speculation apart, the moot question is now about how damaging this move from the World Bank would be for Amaravati capital plans. The Jaganmohan Reddy government is facing flak from the TDP and some other quarters for not treading a cautious path with regard to their intentions over the capital. They express fears that this can have its cascading impact, prompting several other international lending agencies like the Asian Development Bank to follow suit.
All the fears notwithstanding, there is also a perception on the flipside that this should actually be seen as a ‘good riddanc’ for a state whose financial health is certainly not at its best. The larger aspect of this perception is premised on the fact that any kind of financial aid extended by international lending agencies come with a heavy burden of interest. To pay off the debts with the accruing costs of interest would be a tight-rope walk for any state, let alone Andhra Pradesh. Already, the state is struggling for ways to shore up its finances in the face of a huge burden of debts. In this context, the World Bank retreating from its financial commitment is only being seen in some quarters as a ‘blessing in disguise’.
On the political front, the Jaganmohan Reddy government is also not expected to be too unnerved by this development. Unlike Chandrababu Naidu, Jagan doesn’t seem to be in the mood to invest heavily in Amaravati capital plans as of now. The YSRCP president has been maintaining right from the days he was in the opposition that Naidu’s plans for Amaravati would only be beneficial to some realtors and his cronies. Moreover, he is seeing a big scam in the whole project and has accordingly constituted an expert committee to dig deep into it. Against this backdrop, it is highly unlikely that the present dispensation would ever fancy the thought of persuading either the World Bank or any other lending agency to invite additional debt burden. For the moment, ‘good-riddance’ is perhaps the right word to describe the so-called World Bank jolt..!
-Durga Prasad Kanamaluru
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