His version will put cash in the hands of different walks of people in the state.

Hyderabad: As there is not much of the direct benefit transfer to the needy in the Centre’s fiscal package, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has come up with his version of stimulus package that will put cash in the hands of different walks of people in the state. Besides Rythu Bharosa for farmers, the Chief Minister added two more schemes—“YSR Kapu Nestham” and “Jagananna Chedodu”. Under “YSR Kapu Nestham”, the government will distribute Rs 15,000 to each of 2,29,416 families represented by women members, in the age group of 45-60 years. The women are expected to use this money for their day-to-day needs as well as small businesses which have suffered due to two-month-long lockdown. The women belong to the Kapu community, which is seeking OBC status for long.
Under “Jagananna Chedodu” (Jagan’s helping hand) scheme, another 2,50,207 families of artisans will be handed out Rs 10,000 each. Of them, 1,29,749 tailors, 81,815 washer men and 38,648 barbers are being picked up this cash one-time transfer. They all belong to the OBC category and are assisted through the funds of the AP Backward Classes Finance Corporation. The total outlay will be around Rs 600 crore. “These are the worst hit by the lockdown and are out on the streets, jobless. This scheme will extend some lifeline to their families struggling for survival,” an officer of the backward classes welfare department of Andhra Pradesh told this newspaper. If necessary, the Chief Minister is contemplating to extend some more categories of occupation under the scheme, the official said. Selection of beneficiaries for these schemes has been done in a systematic manner without giving scope for irregularities, the officials said. After preparing lists from the village and town level, the beneficiaries’ names are being displayed for public scrutiny and objections will be received till 5 June. After final checks, the beneficiaries will get the monetary assistance by last week of June. On 15 May, CM Jagan released Rs 2,800 crore as part of the first instalment of “YSR Rythu Bharosa”, a direct investment assistance schemes for farmers, at the rate of Rs 5,500 for each of 40 lakh families for the coming Kharif season of agricultural operations. In April, the Andhra Pradesh government has released Rs 2,000 to each of them as advance payment to tide over the Covid lockdown. Under “Rythu Bharosa”, every farmer will get up to Rs 13,500 per annum for a period of five years to meet their agricultural operation costs. This is not a loan or an adjusted amount for any account, but an outright give-away. “This release of funds for farmers who are at the receiving end of the lockdown impact would trigger demand in rural areas,” said a senior agriculture officer. Chief Minister Jagan is also open to extend similar cash benefits to other sections of people, depending on availability of funds in the exchequer. For instance, he agreed to pay full payment of salaries to all government and public sector employees for the month of May, which would be paid on 1 June. The government has deferred 50% of their salaries for April and May under Covid impact. Responding to requests from government employees, the CM is ready to release the deferred amount too at the earliest, albeit in instalments, sources said. If this is done, Andhra Pradesh will be the first state in the country to restore salaries to government employees to the full level. Neighbouring Telangana will be paying the reduced salaries for May too, on 1 June. The Andhra Pradesh government is mulling extending financial help to certain needy sections hit by the lockdown. A clear picture will emerge by the last week of May when all departments, including the revenue earning ones like excise, registration and commercial taxes, will be fully operational. RTC buses will run in full strength from 25 May. These wings will boost revenues of the government.

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