Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy sprung several surprises in the very first meeting of his cabinet on Monday. The meeting, which went on for almost six hours with lunch break, had many promises rolled out for the people. The focus was more on the farmers and agriculture sector in the State.
It was aimed at proving that his promises are for sure to be implemented. He had also set several dates for every scheme to be implemented.
There would be an agriculture commission established by the State with chief minister as chairman to look into the issues of the farmers and agriculture. This commission would have agriculture experts and representatives of the farmers as members.
The YSR Rythu Bharosa would be implemented from October 15 to provide Rs 12,500 as input investment for every farmer and this would go directly to the farmers’ bank account without being adjusted by the banks against their loans, if any.
The farmers would also get interest-free loans where the government would pay the interest to the banks and send the receipts to the farmers through the village volunteers. The government would create market stabilisation fund with Rs 3000 crore corpus and calamity relief fund with Rs 2,000 crore corpus.
The government would also drill borewells to the farmers free of cost for which it was decided to procure 200 rigs for 175 Assembly and 25 Parliament constituencies. Each of these rigs would be placed in the headquarters of the Assembly and Parliament constituencies. The government would also insure the cattle and pay the insurance premium on their behalf. Each farmer would be eligible to have 5 cattle.
Besides, the government had in principle agreed to increase 27 per cent fitment to the government employees, withdraw Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) against which the employees have been fighting for years, merge the APSRTC with the government, revive the YSR Arogyasri programme, restore the 108 and 104 ambulances, increase the wages of the Asha workers, Anganwadi teachers, mid-day meal workers.
Every scheme has a date to be rolled out, giving some confidence to the people about the promises. Interestingly, Jaganmohan Reddy had made his government to display his Navarathnalu, election promises, on the walls of the secretariat buildings, reiterating his commitment to these promises and his assurance of making government answerable and transparent.