Andhra Pradesh

Andhra cabinet ratifies GOs on pay scales, retirement age

VIJAYAWADA: Standing firm on its decision regarding the new Pay Revision Commission (PRC), the State cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday, ratified the Government Orders issued for its implementation. It also ratified the enhancement of government employees’ retirement age from 60 to 62 years.

Briefing mediapersons on other Cabinet resolutions, I&PR Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said the decision to provide jobs to the family members of government employees who died of Covid, under compassionate grounds, was approved. As part of it, vacant posts in village and ward secretariats will be filled and the appointment process will be completed by June 30.

Asked about reports regarding constitution of a committee to hold talks with employees’ unions on the PRC, Perni said he was not aware of it and clarified that the topic was not discussed at the Cabinet meeting.

“Our government adopts an open door policy when it comes to employee issues. We are committed to the welfare of employees. The government is always ready to resolve any issues of employees through negotiations,” he avowed.

The employees’ unions decided to serve a strike notice on the State government on January 24 to press their demand for withdrawal of GOs on PRC.

Four flights from Kadapa, Kurnool to start ops from March 27

The employees’ unions, which met on Friday, decided to intensify their agitation in a phased manner. Perni found fault with some ‘objectionable’ remarks made by a few employees’ union leaders on the PRC and sought to know if such cuss words would fetch them HRA. He asserted that no one can create a rift between the CM and employees.

Elaborating on other issues discussed at the cabinet meeting, he said the health department will be empowered to take measures to combat the Covid surge in the State and ensure zero fatalities. “Compared to earlier waves of Covid, hospitalisation is less now. However, health infrastructure in the State has been strengthened to face any eventuality. AP is among the top performing States in the country in Covid vaccination,” he said.

The cabinet gave its nod to reserve 10% of plots in Jagananna Smart Townships for government employees, besides offering 20% price rebate to them. Jagananna Smart Townships will be developed in every Assembly constituency in the State and 5% plots in the townships will be reserved for pensioners.

“The cabinet approved allocation of Rs 589 crore for the EBC Nestham scheme, which will be launched by the CM on January 25. Women belonging to upper castes in the age group of 45-60 years will be provided an aid of Rs 15,000 per annum under the scheme. As many as 3,92,674 beneficiaries of EBC Nestham have been identified out of 4,59,328 applications received,” he explained.

The cabinet gave an in-principle approval for the construction of 16 new medical colleges at a cost of Rs 7,880 crore and development of the existing medical colleges with Rs 3,820 crore. It also sanctioned eight additional director of medical education posts and 78 staff posts in dispensaries under the Ayush department.

On infrastructure front, the cabinet approved the decision in inviting bids for handling operational maintenance of Krishnapatnam Power Plant for 25 years to reduce expenditure. An option will be given for APGenco employees working in the plant to return to the parent organisation, he said.

The cabinet also cleared the agreement with IndiGo Airlines to operate four flights a week from Kadapa and Kurnool airports starting from March 27.

The available land in Autonagar will be used for multiple purposes by making APIIC a nodal agency. The unused land of Rajiv Gruha Kalpa Project in Visakhapatnam will be used to construct HIG and MIG colonies, the minister said.

The cabinet okayed Rs 5,000 crore loan for the AP State Civil Supplies Corporation to enable it make payments to farmers for the crop procured without any delay. As against the target to procure 50 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, 21.83 lakh metric tonnes have been procured so far. A total sum of Rs 2,150 crore has been paid to farmers. The allotment of five acres in Tirupati to ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth for setting up a badminton academy was cleared. The allotment of 50 acres to the Regional Agricultural Research Station at Anakapalle under Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University was also okayed.

The cabinet also ratified the government decision to offer installment facility to OTS beneficiaries of rural areas. They can pay OTS charges in two installments of Rs 5,000 each on Ugadi and Diwali. Stamp duty and registration charge exemption will be given for OTS, Tidco houses and Missionaries of Charity in Visakhapatnam.

The move to amend the Endowments Act 1987 over appointment of TTD special invitees also got the cabinet nod. ICDS has been allowed to procure milk from Amul for its nutrition projects like Balamrutham, Further, approval was given to transfer 59 posts in Tadigadapa panchayat to the newly formed Tadigadapa municipality at the cabinet meet.

Other key decisions

Allocation of Rs 589 crore for implementation of the EBC Nestham scheme for the benefit of women belonging to upper castes in the age group of 45-60 years; jobs for the family members of government employees who died of Covid-19; reservation of 10% of plots in Jagananna Smart Townships for employees and 20% price rebate; reservation of 5% plots in Jagananna townships for pensioners; construction of 16 new medical colleges; and Rs 5,000 crore loan to the AP State Civil Supplies Corporation

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