Unable to resolve the issue of `local’ status of its employees, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to postpone till next year the process of shifting of the state administration from Hyderabad to the new capital region. The state government had earlier planned to move at least 10,000 employees working in Hyderabad to the Vijayawada – Guntur region where the capital city, Amaravati, is supposed to come up.
However, when the employees’ unions raised the issue of `local’ status, the state govern ment backtracked as it has no readymade solution. Under Article 371-D people based in Hyderabad zone are considered her zones for `non-local’ in other zones for purpose of employment and education. Since AP employees based in Hyderabad will become `non-local’ when they shift to Vijayawada-Guntur, their children will not be considered under the `local’ quota in educational institutions. They would, therefore, lose out in education and jobs as they will be treated as non-locals in Andhra Pradesh.
So the employees are demanding that the `local’ status issue be resolved before effecting the transfers to Amaravati. As only the President of India is empowered to change the zonal system, the state government has decided to approach the Union government and pending presidential approval it would not shift the employees to the new capital region.
After holding a series of meetings with the representatives of revenue, AP NGOs, and secretariat em ployees’ associations, the government found itself on a sticky wicket as the resolution of the `local’ status issue is not in its purview.“The issue should only be resolved by the Union government and any relaxation to 371-D that governs the local status in both states would require the assent of the President after clearance from the Union home ministry . This will take at least four months,“ secretary (political) of AP MK Meena told TOI.
The official said that the request from the state has to be cleared by the Union Cabinet after taking the opinions of the law and home ministries. Only then it would be forwarded to the President who may give his assent as a special case.“Otherwise Parliament has to be summoned to amend Constitution and Article 371-D,“ said a senior official of the state law department. As no immediate solution to the `local’ status issue could be identified, the decision to postpone the shifting of the administration to next year was taken.“Without employees what will we do in Vijayawada other than wasting public money on travel bills?“ grumbled a minister.
Meanwhile, the state government decided to operationalise camp offices of the chief minister, heads of departments, the chief secretary , the DGP and a few ministers in Vijayawada.
Source: Times of India, Hyderabad Edition