The Andhra Pradesh cabinet announced several key decisions after a meeting held on Wednesday. The cabinet has approved the formation of a committee headed by the Chief Secretary, to work on the reorganisation of the districts in the state. The number of districts is likely to go up from 13 to 25, in the interest of decentralising governance.
Minister for Information and Public Relations Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said that the committee will study the optimal way to reorganise the districts, while also minimising the financial burden on the state. The committee will be headed by the Chief Secretary, and its members will include the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA), the GAD (General Administration Department) Services Secretary, and Planning Department Secretary as well as a representative from the Chief Ministerâ€™s Office (CMO). Principal Secretary (Finance) will be the convenor.
â€śThe District Collector plays a key role in the delivery mechanism of government schemes, in ensuring that they reach the final beneficiaries. With large districts, monitoring the implementation of schemes and staying available for people becomes difficult,â€ť Minister Perni Nani said.
The district reorganisation committee is expected to optimise the use of human resources and infrastructure.
The cabinet also approved the setting up of a dedicated Sand Corporation, to deal with matters related to the mining and supply of sand. The YSRCP government had scrapped the previous TDP governmentâ€™s free sand policy and came up with a new policy, alleging that the previous policy was in favour of middlemen and black market sales. However, complaints over low availability of sand through the government portals have continued over the months.
The sand corporation will be overseen by a committee of three Ministers -- Perni Nani, Kodali Nani and Buggana Rajendranath.
The cabinet also approved the formation of a body called AP Rayalaseema Drought Mitigation Project Development Corporation Ltd (APRDMPDCL) will be set up to develop irrigation facilities in the Rayalaseema region at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore.
The cabinet has also decided to extend the recently announced YSR Cheyutha scheme to women who are already covered by the YSR Pension Kanuka scheme. Under the Cheyutha scheme, women from SC, ST, BC and minority categories between 45 to 60 years of age will receive an annual financial assistance of Rs 18,750 per year. This has now been extended to nearly 8,21,000 single women and disabled women already covered under the pension scheme.
Under the Fish Feed Quality Control Act brought in through an ordinance, industries manufacturing feed for aquaculture will be monitored for pricing and quality.
The cabinet has also approved the governmentâ€™s decision to offer guarantee to the APIIC (Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation) to obtain a Rs 2,000 crore loan.