Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had started the preparatory work to help driver-cum-owners of autos and taxis in the State. Jaganmohan Reddy had promised to extend financial assistance to the own auto and taxi drivers by giving them Rs 10,000 per year towards maintenance. He made this promise during his padayatra and had included it in his Navarathnalu, the nine key promises, that brought him to power in the 2019 general elections.
After assuming charge as chief minister, Jaganmohan Reddy is on the task of rolling out the welfare schemes one after the other. He is now working on rolling out this benefit to the drivers, who own autos and taxis. According to the initial assessment, there are over 4 lakh eligible owner-cum-drivers in the State. The Transport Department, which issues licenses for them, is now geared up to identify such persons in the State. The government had also decided open filing of applications online in this week. The government is also ready to accept this, even if the number is more.
Some of the auto drivers, who met Jaganmohan Reddy during the padayatra, have told him their plight, particularly to pay the taxes, insurance and meet the vehicle maintenance. They told him that they were forced to borrow the money from lenders at higher rate of interests. As their daily or monthly earnings are too small, they were thus pushed into debt trap. Jaganmohan Reddy reacted to this and promised them the financial support every year to the owner-cum-drivers of the autos.
The scheme is likely to come into force by end of September, as Jaganmohan Reddy does not want to wait for the elections, like the previous Telugu Desam Party government. People have rejected the TDP for rolling out its election promises in the last leg of its rule, just three to four months before the elections. This delay, particularly in the case of unemployment stipend, Anna Canteens, Annadaata Sukheebhava, Pasupu-Kumkuma and other schemes, which were promised in the 2014 elections, had cost dearly for the TDP in the elections and Jaganmohan Reddy does not want to have such impression on him.