The Telangana government said that house owners in the state should defer collecting rents from tenants for a period of three months starting from March, in view of the hardship caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
"This is not an appeal. It is an order. We are invoking the Disaster Management Act. If any tenant is asked for rent, they can dial 100 to complain and we will definitely take action," Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said at a press meet on Saturday night.
The rent for March, April, and May can be collected later, he added. The house owners were also directed not to collect interest on rent arrears.
Speaking about educational institutions which would reopen once the lockdown was lifted, KCR said, "Private schools cannot raise fees. That is not allowed in the state. It is a government order. Schools can only collect tuition fees, that also only on a monthly basis."
The government also decided to defer property tax and fixed electricity charges for the industry until the end of May. The electricity billing will be on actual consumption and not on a fixed basis. Deferred payments can be made without any penalty or interest.
The Chief Minister also said that every person who has a white ration card in the state will get 12 kg of rice per head and each family will be given Rs 1,500 for the month of May as financial assistance.
The Telangana government on Sunday decided to extend the lockdown till May 7 and not to give any relaxation.
The Chief Minister said that the cabinet took the decision not to give any relaxation after analysing the issue from all angles. Three more people died of COVID-19 in the state on Sunday, taking the death toll to 21.
With 18 new positive cases reported on Sunday, the total number of cases rose to 858. A total of 186 patients have so far recovered and been discharged from hospitals. The number of active cases stands at 651.