Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allot the Secunderabad Parade Grounds to the TS government to build the Secretariat complex.

During his one-in-one meeting with Modi which lastyed for about 80 minutes, KCR put forth a series of requests to the Prime Minister, most of them being the commitments and promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act. The list includes the increase in the number of Assembly seats and bifurcation of the Hyderabad High Court.

CM sought the Parade Grounds saying that the state government will allot the same extent of land to the defence ministry at some other place.

He later met law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Mr Rao requested the PM to exempt agriculture-related and agriculture-dependent trades from Income Tax as is done with the agriculture sector.

Leave Quota To States: KCR

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao felt that by giving IT exemption to the trades and professions connected to the Agriculture Sector, people living on these trades will be benefitted the most.

KCR made a strong case for States to be given the discretion to decide reservation percentage, during his meeting with the Prime Minister.

The Chief Minister said: “There are several States in the country and each State has a different social composition. The Constitution has stipulated that SCs and STs should be given reservations. In States where SC/ST population percentage is more, the reservation percentage is above 50 per cent.”

Stating that States which had a considerable OBC population were seeking reservation based on education and economic backwardness of the communities, Rao pointed out that Tamil Nadu had 69 percent of reservation.

SC Categorization

“In Telangana State, SC/ST/BC/Minorities are in large numbers, and a majority of these communities are poor. There are many communities and castes which are economically and educationally backward. In order to encourage them, we have passed an Act in the Assembly enhancing their reservation percentage. We need the Centre’s approval for this.

Similarly, the issue regarding how much percentage of reservation is to be given for education and employment sectors should be left to the discretion of the States,” the Chief Minister requested Modi.

“There is a long pending demand in Telangana State for categorization of SCs. The demand has the support of the people and is justified. Hence, the Centre should respond on the SC Categorisation issue, and a Bill in this regard should be introduced in Parliament,” the Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister.

IT Exemption

Continuing with his efforts to get relief for agriculture and allied sectors, Rao reiterated that professions and trades linked to the farm sector should be exempted from Income Tax.

Suggesting that the Centre bring in an Act to facilitate IT exemption to allied sectors as was the case with agriculture, he said: “There are several professions and trades that are entirely dependent on agriculture sector in villages. Several Backward Class communities, including sheep-rearers, washermen, barbers, fishermen and weavers eke out their livelihood through these professions, and imposing tax on their income is not justified.”

Stating that these people were involved in laborious professions, mostly hereditary and some in the field of art, the Chief Minister said giving exemption to these professions and trades will help and support them in a big way. “This will also help in strengthening the rural economy,” he said, and pointed out that the Telangana government was encouraging sheep rearing, fisheries and other allied professions.

“We have allocated huge funds in the budget. In future, these hereditary professions will generate huge volumes of business running into crores. These people will become economically strong, and such hard working people should not be taxed,” the Chief Minister told the Prime Minister who responded positively to all his requests.

GST Should Not Affect States

“We accepted and supported the GST with the slogan – one country, one tax. Please ensure that the States do not suffer losses or affect its economy due to the GST,” he said, adding that there was need for clarity on this issue. “GST would be beneficial to the country only if the State’s interests are not affected adversely,” he added.

Increase Constituencies

The Chief Minister also requested the Prime Minister to take measures to increase the number of Assembly constituencies in Telangana based on the provision of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. He also wanted the bifurcation of High Court to be taken up expeditiously, release of Rs 1,400 crore funds due from CAMPA from the Centre, recognizing Kaleswaram as a National Project and releasing the funds and handing over Parade Grounds in Secunderabad to the State for construction of State Secretariat.

PM’s Assurance

The Prime Minister’s response was positive on each and every issue raised by Rao with an assurance that he would take action. The discussions took place in a cordial manner with the intention of solving people’s problems. “It was a fruitful meeting with the Prime Minister,” Rao said.

Later, the Chief Minister met Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and sought approval of the new Land Acquisition Act passed by the TS Assembly. The oustees will get major benefits within a short period under the new Act and speedy construction of projects will also be facilitated, he said.

The Union Law Minister immediately gave his ministry’s approval and assured his ministry’s cooperation on the matter.

Prasad also responded positively on the bifurcation of the High Court.