Virtually fulfilling major part of the election promises made in the manifesto, the TRS government on Wednesday announced a series of initiatives for all sections of the society.
After a marathon six-hour long Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao at a packed press conference on Wednesday night announced a number of sops. Taking care of all sections of the society, be it the weaker sections, minorities, employees, students, youth and industry, the government had some thing for each segment.
Mr. Rao reiterated his government’s commitment to waive crop loans for farmers as well as the gold loans. Stating that 39 lakh would be benefited by the waiver, the Chief Minister said the burden on the exchequer would be between Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 19,000 crore. The agriculture and finance departments have been asked to prepare the list of beneficiaries, he said.
In a significant announcement, Mr. Rao made it clear that a new scheme Financial Assistance to Students of Telangana (FAST) would be introduced immediately. Only those students whose parents were residents of Telangana since 1956 alone would be eligible for the scheme.
He said all the families of martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of separate Telangana would be paid Rs 10-lakh ex gratia and one eligible member would get employment. If they were landless, three acres would be distributed while the children of martyrs would be provided free education. Cases booked against students and youth during the Telangana agitation from 2001 would be withdrawn.
Keeping his word, Mr. Rao said State government employees would now draw central government scales. Similarly, all contract employees in the new State would be regularised. A special Telangana increment would also be paid to the employees.
In all, 43 subjects were discussed at the cabinet meeting and the other major announcements include Rs. 1000 per month pension for the aged and widows and Rs. 1,500 a month for the disabled from Dasara. The pension would be credited into individual bank accounts, he said. All the beedi workers in the state would get monthly honorarium of Rs. 1,000. “This may take some time as the labour department has to conduct enumeration and list of the beneficiaries,” he said.
The government announced a new scheme for the SC and ST girls alled ‘Kalyana Laxmi’. Under the scheme, each girl would be given Rs. 50,000 at the time of marriage. All eligible poor dalits would be given three acres of land.
The motor vehicle tax on autorickshaws and tractor trolleys would be abolished with immediate effect. All tribal hamlets would be upgraded into gram panchayats while a separate board would be constituted to take care of the interest of Gulf expatriates.
Two separate commissions to be headed by retired High Court judges would be constituted shortly to study the scope for increasing the ST and minorities reservation. A Wakf Tribunal to protect land would also be set up.
Courtesy: The Hindu