Rama Krishna Sangem
Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy on January 8, Monday constituted a Cabinet sub-committee on implementing his party’s six guarantees to people before the assembly elections. This is the first full fledged cabinet panel of this new Congress government. Deputy CM Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka will head the sub-committee while ministers D Sridhar Babu, Ponnam Prabhakar and Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy are the members.
This sums up the importance of the government’s focus on implementing Six Guarantees – which are crucial ahead of coming Lok Sabha elections in May. Of the six promises made to people, the Congress government has initiated steps to bring in effect two, though partially – free RTC bus ride for women and increasing Rajiv Arogya Sri medical insurance cover from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
After that the government has taken up a programme, called Praja Palana, people’s governance – to receive applications from people for these six guarantees which include enhanced monthly pensions, free housing and subsidized gas supply etc. The applications were received from December 28 to January 6. As expected, there has been huge response from people to this drive.
As per official estimates, as many as 1.05 crore applications were received for these six guarantees. Another 19 lakh people people submitted applications for other benefits like ration cards etc. This humongous pile of applications fro people indicate the seriousness of the situation. Or the amount of expectations from the public. They all need government’s help or intervention.
Now the real challenge
Revanth’s government now faces the real challenge of scrutinizing these around 1.25 crore applications and identify the real beneficiaries. The CM said earlier that there would be transparency in selecting beneficiaries of the six welfare schemes. He made it clear that the identification of beneficiaries would be done at Grama Sabhas or Basti Sabhas, means at local people’s level.
The Bhatti cabinet panel will have to frame guidelines for selecting eligible beneficiaries of the six schemes. If there is heavy rejections, that will poorly affect the image of the government. Otherwise, it would put enormous financial burden on the government. The Congress government which has already released two white papers on the state’s financial situation will find it hard to extend sops to all the applicants.
Sources say, the government may enact laws to implement some of these six guarantees in the budget session of assembly in February. However, the actual implementation of them will take some time as the model code of conduct of Lok Sabha elections may come from March onward. But, delaying of their implementation will give political handle to opposition BRS and BJP.