Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday said the State government would make an announcement on the recommendations of the Pay Revision Commission (PRC) for government employees in the next couple of days in the State Assembly. The PRC implementation would not only meet the expectations of the employees but also make them feel proud to be among the highest-paid in the country.
In other significant announcements, the Chief Minister said the State government would purchase paddy and other agricultural produce from farmers for the current Yasangi season in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases, with Rs 7,500 crore being set aside in the 2021-22 Budget to be presented in the Assembly on Thursday. He also asserted that the government is committed to implementing cent per cent farm loan waiver .
Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s Address in the Assembly, the Chief Minister said the implementation of the latest PRC was delayed due to the Covid-19 crisis, which had severely dented the State revenues. “The State lost about Rs 52,000 crore in direct revenues and another Rs 50,000 crore indirectly,” he said and pointed out that the entire world is reeling under the Covid-19 crisis.
“We increased the salaries of employees significantly after the State formation and showed our commitment towards their welfare on various occasions. The PRC will also be announced soon which will reveal the TRS government’s affection towards the employees,” he said. All their other issues would also be addressed by the government, he added.
With regard to the Opposition’s allegations of increased borrowings, Chandrashekhar Rao said the State government was borrowing within the limits of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) regulations of the Centre and that the State’s capital expenditure is highest in the country. “Telangana is one of the three States maintaining best fiscal prudence and financial discipline as per the Centre’s Economic Survey report and other studies,” he said and reiterated that the State government had only redesigned the previous irrigation projects to correct the injustice done to Telangana in undivided Andhra Pradesh. “I am determined to fulfil the goal of providing irrigation to one crore acres in the State,” he added.
“Due to our pro-agriculture measures, the area under paddy cultivation increased from a mere 12.23 lakh acre in Yasangi 2014 to 52.28 lakh acre in Yasangi 2021, making Telangana the number one State in the country in paddy cultivation,” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister was also categorical in saying that the State government would continue to operate market yards, notwithstanding the new farm laws brought by the Centre, and provide procurement platforms. Stating that the issue of the new farm laws’ implementation is sub-judice and that the State Assembly cannot override laws enacted by Parliament as per the Constitution, Chandrashekhar Rao promised to take all measures within the purview of the State government including operation of market yards in the best interest of farmers. “We cannot get into a confrontation with the Union government on all issues. While maintaining constitutional relations with the Centre, the State will continue to fight for its rights wherever necessary in the interest of our people,” he said.
Pointing out that no State government had purchased the entire paddy crop and other agricultural produce like Telangana did during the Covid-19 pandemic last year spending around Rs 50,000 crore, the Chief Minister said: “We are constantly monitoring the situation.
Both Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy and Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar are in touch with the officials of the Food Corporation of India, which has promised to purchase about 80 lakh tonnes of paddy at the minimum support price of Rs 1,888 per quintal.”
The Chief Minister said the State government is committed to implementing cent per cent farm loan waiver and had already waived off loans up to Rs 25,000 last year benefiting about four lakh farmers. Finance Minister T Harish Rao would announce the budgetary provisions made for the next instalment of loan waiver during the presentation of the Budget 2021-22. “The State government will bear the interest imposed on farmers due to delay in clearing the crop loans,” he said.
In the wake of the Dharani portal creating a revolution of sorts in maintenance of land records and registrations, the government has decided to strengthen it further by taking up the much-awaited digital survey of the land. Chandrashekhar Rao said budgetary allocations were being made to take up a comprehensive digital survey of all lands in the State in the next financial year by fixing the boundaries of all the lands using geographical coordinates (latitudes and longitudes). Of the total land area of 2.77 crore acres in the State, around 1.5 crore acres had already been digitised.
Chandrashekhar Rao, who termed the Podu lands issue as a complicated one, said the State government is striving to find a permanent solution to the problem. He said he would visit all the districts shortly along with his Cabinet colleagues and officials to settle the issue permanently. He also hinted at the government’s plans to launch new schemes for SC and ST empowerment in the budget