The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday announced a slew of decisions including the merger of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) with the state government, policy to curb sand mafia, financial assistance to those driving their own passenger auto-rickshaws and cars, increase of financial assistance to SC, ST and backward communities, etc.
The Cabinet has approved the report submitted by Anjaneya Reddy committee on the merger of APSRTC with the state government. After the merger, employees of APSRTC will be recognised as government employees. Also, a new public transport department will be set up in the state government.
Minister for Transportation, Information and Public Relations Perni Venkataramaiah said that the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered officials of Transport, Finance, Legal and General Administration departments to complete the process of merger of APSRTC with the government in three months.
"All the facilities and rules applicable to government employees will be applied to RTC employees after the merger in the public transport department. The retirement age of APSRTC employees is increased to 60 years, just like government employees. The government will take over Rs 3300 crore of financial responsibility through this merger," he said.
The minister further said that the state Cabinet has approved a new sand policy to curb sand mafia. Andhra Pradesh Mining Development Corporation will undertake sand mining and transport.
"Government has set up 41 stock points in 13 districts. The government will increase these from 70 to 80 by October. The price of sand at the stock point is Rs 375 per ton and the cost of transport is Rs 4.90 per kilometre. The cost of transportation through tractors up to 10km is Rs 500. The APMDC is responsible for sand mining with the permission of the farmers in Patta lands. The farmers will be paid Rs 60 per cubic meter by APMDC," said Venkataramaiah.
Further, the Cabinet approved a scheme to provide Rs 10,000 annual financial assistance to those driving their own passenger auto-rickshaws and cars which is ought to benefit 3.97 lakh beneficiaries. The government will set aside Rs 397.93 crore for this scheme.
Financial assistance for SCs has been increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh, and it has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for ST Community. "It would be Rs 1,20,000 if SCs or STs marry inter-caste people. Financial assistance for BC community people has been increased from Rs 35,000 to Rs 70,000 and for minorities, it has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh," said the minister.
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