Income of temples in Andhra Pradesh has grown by 27 per cent, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has said, attributing it to "growing sins".
"People are committing sins and to get rid of them they are going to temples and offering money," the Chief Minister remarked, during his inaugural address at the two-day conference of district Collectors in Vijayawada on Wednesday.
At the same time, he pointed out, sale of liquor was coming down, resulting in reduced income to the state.
"More people are taking (Sabarimala) Ayyapa Swamy 'deeksha' and abstaining from liquor consumption for 40 days.
To that extent our liquor sales are going down," he observed, though jocularly.
Asking the district Collectors to develop a "competitive spirit", the Chief Minister said 2015-16 financial year should be taken as the base year for competition among districts in various development indicators.
"Your focus should be on inclusive growth and balanced development. Also, strive to achieve at least 80 per cent satisfaction among people (in service delivery). Only then you work will be appreciated. There is a correlation between your work and people's satisfaction," Chandrababu noted.
"Andhra Pradesh is a two-year baby. Our aim is to become one among the top three (states) by 2022 and number one by 2029. We have a 'Vision-2050' by when we aim to become the number one destination (for investments). Let us all take responsibility and work together," the Chief Minister told the Collectors and top bureaucrats.
State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu pointed out that there were "disparities" between districts in performance in different sectors like agriculture, industry and services.
"If we set this right, the overall growth will improve. We have targeted a growth of 15 per cent in 2016-17 fiscal.
Education, health and individual economic status are key elements in achieving the growth rate," Yanamala said.
He asked the Collectors to concentrate on these three elements apart from other sectors.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Satya Prakash Tucker said for the first time in the country, AP has prepared estimates of Mandal Domestic Product, analysing sector-wise performance in each mandal in the state.
The Chief Minister released the MDP report as well as a book on performance appraisal and district economic scenario in the state.
Another book on sustaining momentum of inclusive double-digit growth was also released.
Deputy Chief Ministers K E Krishna Murthy (Revenue), N China Rajappa (Home), Chief Commissioner of Land Administration Anil Chandra Punetha, ministers and top bureaucrats are attending the conference.