Congress to chalk out a fresh strategy to attract minority communities

Hyderabad: Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah on Monday informed that a fresh strategy was being chalked out to re-connect the party with the minority communities in Hyderabad.

“The problems of Muslims, Christians and other minority communities in Telangana have multiplied under the TRS regime. These communities, including Muslims, constitute nearly 15% of the total population in Telangana. They are facing huge discrimination and utter neglect since 2014. We will soon begin the process to compile the list of major problems concerning minorities and devise a strategy to seek their redressal,” Sameer Waliullah said in a media statement.

Sameer Waliullah said that Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President A. Revanth Reddy, while addressing the Eid Milap function held on 31st July has pointed several issues concerning Muslims and other minorities in Telangana, especially Hyderabad. “The problems of minorities are not religion-specific, but region-specific. Housing, employment, education, civic amenities, safety, health, public transportation, drinking water, roads, etc., are among the major issues concerning the minorities of Hyderabad who constitutes nearly 50% of the total population. Since TRS Govt did not address these issues in the last seven years, the Congress party will evolve a strategy to raise these issues in an effective manner so as to seek their resolution from the government,” he said.

The Congress leader said that huge promises were made with the people of Greater Hyderabad in the GHMC elections held in 2016 and 2020. Citing instances, he said lakhs of applications were collected from the poor people by the TRS and MIM parties promising 2BHK houses after 2016 polls. However, all those applications were thrown in the dust bin once the elections were over. Similarly, thousands of people who suffered losses due to heavy rains were promised Rs. 10,000 compensation. Although the amount was too less compared to the actual losses, this amount too was not paid after the elections.

Sameer Waliullah said that almost 80% of nearly 18 lakh jobless youth who had registered themselves with the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) hail from Hyderabad and at least 40% of them belong to Muslim and other minority communities. Lakhs of people lost their jobs and other sources of employment during the lockdown period. Therefore, unemployment is the major issue concerning minorities, he said.He said that the Hyderabad Congress Minorities Dept would prepare a strategy to conduct subject-wise protest meetings to create awareness among the people while building pressure upon the TRS Government to solve those problems. “In his speech at Eid Milap function, TPCC President Revanth Reddy has given a broad direction on how the Congress leaders should approach the people to re-connect them with the Congress party. We will follow his direction and ensure that the party regains its hold among minorities of Telangana, especially in Hyderabad,” he said. (INN)

Utilise Dawat-e-Iftar funds to feed the poor, Shabbir tells CM

Hyderabad: Former minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Wednesday demanded that the State Government utilise funds allocated for Dawat-e-Iftar to feed the poor people in view of Coronavirus crisis.

“The State Government, in its budget for 2020-21, has earmarked Rs. 66 Crore towards Dawat-e-Iftar and another Rs. 1.83 crore towards Iftar/Dinner hosted by the Chief Minister.

In view of ongoing crisis, there is no possibility of holding Iftar parties at mosques across the Telangana State and it is not likely that the government might distribute clothes among poor.

Therefore, we request you to kindly utilise the amounts earmarked for Dawat-e-Iftar and Iftar Dinner to distribute ration kits among all the poor people, irrespective of their religion or caste,” Shabbir Ali said in an open letter to Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao.

Shabbir Ali said that the previous Congress Government had introduced a novel scheme ‘Amma Hastham’ wherein a ration kit comprising of nine essential items used to be supplied among poor people.

The kit comprised of 1 kg toor dal, 1 litre palm oil, 1 kg whole meal atta, 1 kg wheat, half kg sugar, 1 kg salt, quarter kg chilli powder, half kg tamarind and 100 grams turmeric powder. “We request you to kindly supply similar kits among poor.

Further, it has been customary for the State Governments since decades to provide additional 1 kg of sugar during Deepawali, Ramzan and other festivals. Therefore, we request you to supply additional 1 kg of sugar at free of cost to all the White Ration Card holders,” he demanded.

Stating that the Congress party fully supports the State Government’s initiatives in combat against Coronavirus, he pointed out the lockdown has shattered the economy and snatched away the livelihood of lakhs of daily wage earners, employees of both organised and unorganised sectors and other weaker sections.

“The Government of Telangana had given 12 kg rice per person and Rs. 1500 assistance to those having White Ration Cards. We regret to say that no assistance has been provided to other affected sections, including salaried and middle class. No compensation package has been announced for those who lost their jobs and those who are facing huge cuts in their salaries.

No relief, waiver or exemption has been given in payment of electricity, water and other utility bills. We request you to kindly consider announcing a comprehensive relief package covering all the affected sections of the society,” Shabbir Ali demanded. (INN)

Congress demands Covid-19 tests for all vulnerable groups

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy demanded that the State Government conduct rapid and random tests for all vulnerable groups, especially those more than 60 years of age.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Monday, Narayana Reddy said that the Telangana Government was not following the norms set by World Health Organisation (WHO) of “Trace, Test and Treat” to combat the Coronavirus in the State.

Quoting figures furnished by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao in his press conference held on Sunday, he said that so far only 14,962 samples have been tested across the State. “KCR, while addressing a press conference on March 27, had stated that 25,937 have been quarantined in Telangana and they would be completing the 14-day quarantine period by April 7.

In Sunday’s press conference, he informed that 1,818 persons are still quarantined. Therefore, of nearly 27,755 suspects, only 14,962 samples (or 53%) have been tested which is too low,” he said.

Narayana Reddy asked as to why the State Government did not conduct Covid-19 tests even all identified suspects. “As per CM’s statement, nine government testing facilities have a capacity of 1560 per day. Why the capacity was not fully utilised? We’re having lockdown since March 22.

On an average, only 432 samples were tested per day for the last 28 days. We could’ve tested 100% of suspects in just 17 days if we would’ve utilised all government labs,” he said.

Further, the Congress leader strongly condemned the KCR Government for not allowing nine private laboratories like Apollo Hospitals, Vijaya Diagnostics, etc., to conduct COVID-19 although they have been permitted by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). He said that the State Government did not frame the local guidelines to allow private labs to conduct COVID-19 tests.

He said that the Supreme Court, in its recent order, clearly stated that the COVID-19 tests should be conduct free of cost and State Government should bear the entire cost. “Is KCR afraid of additional financial burden if more tests are conducted?” he asked.

Narayana Reddy said that the Coronavirus crisis emerged only a few days after the presentation of budget for 2020-21 in which KCR Government made tall claims on State’s financial situation. However, just one week after the lockdown, CM KCR indirectly declared bankruptcy and announced 50% cut in salaries and pensions.

“CM KCR must specify the reasons why his government was not allowing tests at a large scale. Either his government does not have money to conduct more tests or he is afraid that the number of cases might increase if all suspects or vulnerable groups undergo test,” he said.

He advised that the State Government should bear the cost for COVID-19 test for poor and middle-class and those who could afford it, would pay for the tests on their own. Demanding that all ICMR’s approved labs be permitted to conduct tests, he said that the Congress party might approach the court in this regard.

The Congress leader clarified that his party was not indulging in politics. “We are only giving constructive suggestions to the government in the interest of common people. TRS, in its manifesto for 2014 elections, had promised one Super Speciality Hospital in each district headquarter.

Having failed to establish a single hospital in the last six-and-a-half years, KCR is trying to highlight conversion of Gachibowli Stadium into a hospital as an achievement. He is openly cheating the common people,” he said.

Narayana Reddy said that the entire population of Telangana has been religiously honouring the lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Thousands of people in 292 Containment Zones are not venturing out of their doorsteps. Every citizen is displaying total commitment to beat the Coronavirus. Common people have been giving several sacrifices in combat against COVID-19. CM KCR, who claims to have read over 80,000 books, should apply his wisdom and follow the 3-T norm of ‘Trace, Test and Treat’ to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus,” he said.

“Why we can’t test entire population in 292 Containment Zones? Is KCR waiting for some strong symptoms among suspects to conduct tests? Is it not advisable to test someone for the disease before his/her condition deteriorates further?” he asked. (INN)

Congress asks TS Govt to increase testing for Coronavirus

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the State Government should increase the number of tests for Coronavirus in the State.

Addressing video-conference with senior leaders on Friday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the number of tests currently being done was too low.

He said tests should be done at a largescale to identify the affected people and treat me. He said lockdown was not the only solution to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. He said largescale testing should be done to ensure that the virus does not spread from the infected people to others.

The video-conference was attended by AICC Telangana Incharge General Secretary RC Kuntia, CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka, MPs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and A. Revanth Reddy, MLAs D. Sridhar Babu, Jagga Reddy, P. Veeraiah, TPCC Working Presidents Ponnam Prabhakar and Kusum Kumar, AICC Secretaries Vamshichand Reddy, Sampath Kumar, Srinivasan Krishnan, ex-PCC President V. Hanumantha Rao and Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarsinha, former CLP leader Jana Reddy, Task Force Committee chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy, National Vice President of Kisan Morcha M. Kodanda Reddy, AICC Spokesperson Dasoju Sravan, S. Niranjan and others.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party has been giving constructive suggestions to the government. However, the ruling TRS party leaders were trying to take political advantage.

He said cases were being registered against the Congress party leaders to prevent them from distributing food and other essential items among needy persons.

Demanding immediate withdrawal of cases, he said the public representatives should be allowed to meet people to instill confidence among them.

He alleged that TRS ministers and leaders were moving around at various places, including Red Zone areas, in utter violation of norms without ensuring Social Distancing. He said there were large number of complaints of non-supply of food and other essential items by the general public.

CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka condemned the registration of case against Bhadrachalam MLA P. Veeraiah. He said that the State Government was providing food and other essentials among the poor people and it was registering cases against Congress leaders when they tried to reach out to he needy persons.

Several leaders expressed their views during the video-conference.

The Congress leaders demanded that the State Government adopt a humanitarian approach to solve the crisis. They also asked the government to maintain transparency in financial matters. They said people without ration cards should also be provided required help.

As demanded by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the MGNREGA workers should be paid advance payments for 21 days. They also discussed the issue of purchase of agriculture products and said that the process has not yet begun in many villages.

They said the economic crisis and unemployment caused due to lockdown should also be addressed by the government. They said small and medium businesses should be provided help so as to ensure that the unemployment problem does not rise.

They said of nearly 8 lakkh migrant workers in Telangana, the governnment was providing assistance only to nearly 3 lakh workers. Therefore, a majority of migrant workers were still left without any assistance. They also condemned the registration of case against former MP V. Hanumantha Rao and demanded its withdrawal.

Further, they said nearly 13 lakh White Ration Card holders were yet to get the promised financial assistance from the government. They pointed out that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had insisted on conducting more number of tests in the country.

Stating that the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has procured one lakh Rapid Testing Kits, they said Telangana should also import same kits from South Korea.

They Congress leaders alleged that the State Government was not maintaining transparency in financial affairs. The Chief Minister had announced that Rs. 30,000 crore would be earmarked for procurement of agricultural products while only Rs. 20,000 crore is said to be sufficient for the purpose.

They appreciated the help being provided by several Congress leaders and workers across the State to poor and needy persons and said that the High Command must encourage them further. (INN)

COVID-19: Opposition parties asks KCR to convene all party meeting

Hyderabad: All opposition parties on Wednesday demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao call for all party meeting to discuss the Coronavirus and lockdown situation in Telangana State.

Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, leaders of different opposition parties met at Exhibition Society Office, Nampally on Wednesday and discussed the current situation in the State. Telangana TDP President L. Ramana, TJS President Prof. M. Kodandaram, CPI State Secretary Chada Venkatreddy and other leaders attended the meeting.

They discussed various issues, especially the problems being faced by poor people, middle class, workers of unorganised sectors, migrant workers, etc., They prepared a long list of demands and gave several suggestions to the government.

The opposition parties also praised the services being rendered by medical staff, sanitation workers, police personnel and other departments who are actively working to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

They also appealed to the people to support and cooperate with the authorities during the lockdown.

Speaking to media persons later, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Coronavirus has caused vast devastation across the world and its implications could be more serious than the damage caused during first and second World Wards.

He said experts have feared that Coronavirus could cause more damage than the devastation caused during Spanish Flu of 1918. He said the ongoing nationwide lockdown was highly essential to control the spread of Coronavirus. He said all opposition parties have been supporting the lockdown and appealing the general public to stay indoors.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Chief Minister had announced on March 23 that free 12 kg rice per person and Rs. 1500 per family would be given to White Ration Card holders across Telangana.

However, he said that the promised help did not reach all the beneficiaries even after 24 days. Further, he said that the Central Government had promised 5 kg rice for BPL families. He sought to know whether the rice promised by the Centre would be given separately or was it part of 12 kg rice being distributed by the State Government.

He said that the State Government already provides 6 kg rice @ Re. 1 per kg to BPL families and this time it is being provided free of cost. Further, additional 6 kg rice is being given to the poor and if they include 5 kg rice being provided by the Centre, then the State Government’s additional help would be only one kg rice or just Rs. 1 rupee person.

The TPCC Chief demanded that said that the previous Congress regimes used to provide Dal, oil, wheat, sugar, salt and other commodities under Amma Hashtham schemes. He demanded that similar package should be provided to the poor people.

He said people should be provided sugar, oil, Dal and other products along with rice. He said in addition to 87 lakh White Ration Card holders, free rice and cash should also be given nearly 10 lakh people whose applications for White Cards are pending.

He said that the Chief Minister had made tall claims of helping the migrant workers. Contradictory figures were given on the approximate number of migrant workers in the State. However, not all the migrant workers were provided the promised help.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also blamed the mismanagement by the Chief Minister for the current financial crisis in the State. Demanding that the State Government release a White Paper on the State’s economic situation, he said that the present crisis were the outcome of wrong policies of TRS Government for the last six years.

He said that the State Government should a clarification on issuing bonds of Rs. 1500 crore. On an average, he said that the State Government gets revenues of Rs. 8,000-10,000 crore every month. Of this, nearly Rs. 3,400 crore is spent on salaries and pensions.

Citing economic crisis the State Government has slashed the salaries of government employees and pensioners’ pay by half. He said the present crisis were primarily due to the wrong priorities and waste expenditure by the TRS Govt.

The TPCC Chief demanded that the State Government should focus on increasing the pace of testing Coronavirus suspects. Citing the example of South Korea, he said that the country was able to control the spread of Coronavirus due to mass testing.

However, he said that Telangana, with a population of nearly 4 crore, was having the capacity to test only 1,000 persons daily.

He asked as to why private laboratories were not being allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests. He said that the Supreme Court has clearly stated that test for Coronavirus should be free and the government should bear the entire cost.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Central Government has permitted the States to utilise the Mineral Funds. Therefore, he said that the Telangana Government should utilise those funds to upgrade the District Hospitals to treat the Coronavirus patients. He said that the Chief Minister had announced allocation of Rs. 30,000 for procurement of paddy and maize.

However, he said that there were no gunny bags at procurement centres which expose the negligent attitude of State Government and lack of seriousness. He said that the paddy and other produce might damage in case of unseasonal rains and the State Government has failed to even arrange gunny bags for procurement. He alleged that the Chief Minister and Finance Minister Harish Rao were giving irresponsible statements.

He demanded that the State Government make arrangements for export of Mango, Sweet lime and other fruits from Telangana to other States.

Earlier, Kodandaram said that the opposition parties were demanding that State Government strengthen Area Hospitals and upgrade 104 and 108 Ambulance services. He said ration should be supplied to all the need persons on humanitarian grounds.

He said that the BPL families should be provided an assistance of Rs. 5,000. He also condemned registration of case against Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao for offering tributes to the statue of Dr. Ambedkar at Tank Bund. Demanding withdrawal of case, he said Hanumantha Rao did not violate any norms and went to the place alone.

Telangana TDP President L. Ramana said that the daily wage earners, migrant workers and other sections were badly hit due to the lockdown and therefore, State Government should immediately come to their rescue. He demanded that the State Government immediately release a White Paper on State’s financial condition.

CPI State Secretary Chada Venkatreddy said that the opposition parties have demanded that State Government provide Rs. 5,000 financial assistance for migrant workers. (INN)

COVID-19: Uttam asks Congress cadre to plan extensive relief operations

Hyderabaad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Thursday asked party leaders and cadre to prepare a plan for extensive relief operations as the ongoing lockdown due to Coronavirus would have a long lasting impact on common people.

Addressing senior leaders of Congress party through a video-conference today, Uttam Kumar Reddy feared that normalcy might not return to the State immediately after the end of lockdown period which is most likely to be extended.

Therefore, he said that the Congress leaders should prepare a comprehensive plan to extend help and relief to people affected due to lockdown. While the immediate priority is supply of food to daily wage earners, migrant workers, homeless and other poorer sections, he said that the Congress leaders would also need to work out a plan to help those who lost their livelihood or jobs due to lockdown.

He said all Congress workers should try to inculcate hope and confidence among people who might be experiencing extreme trauma and pain due to loss of jobs and sources of earnings.

He said that the fear of Coronavirus and the impact of lockdown would leave a negative impact on a sizable population and all Congress workers should play a pro-active role in bringing out people from that mindset.

Uttam Kumar Reddy advised the party leaders to carry out relief works in an organised manner. He said Control Rooms established in different districts should coordinate with the main Control Room at Gandhi Bhavan and everyone involved in relief works should be connected through separate WhatsApp Groups.

He asked them to keep the TPCC Control Room updated about their daily activities and respond to the requests being forwarded to them for helping the people who are approaching Control Room.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also demanded that the State Government release a ‘White Paper’ disclosing the real statistics pertaining to Coronavirus in Telangana State besides disclosing facts on the financial situation of Telangana State.

He said it was unfortunate that people have started raising apprehensions that State Government was hiding real statistics of Coronavirus patients, suspects and deaths. He said such apprehensions were triggered due to the failure of authorities in releasing Media Bulletins on number of cases on regular basis.

Further, he said Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has been giving contradictory statements on the status of Coronavirus cases in Telangana. In his earlier press conference, the Chief Minister had even claimed that Telangana would be free from COVID-19 threat after April 7. However, things have changed after the emergence of fresh cases from Markaz.

Therefore, he demanded that the State Government release a Status Paper on the actual number of positive cases, number of identified suspects and those kept in quarantine, tests conducted, untraceable cases, etc.,

Further, he said the State Government should also disclose figures on the availability of hospitals, beds, ICU units, ventilators, drugs and medical equipments, testing kits, medical professionals involved in the anti-Coronavirus operations and the estimated amount required to deal with the situation.

The TPCC Chief said that the Chief Minister should also release a White Paper on the State’s financial situation. He said it was hard to believe that a State like Telangana was unable to pay full salaries to its staff just due to a week of lockdown.

Therefore, he alleged that the State Government was trying to cover up its economic failures under the garb of Coronavirus situation. He demanded that the Chief Minister disclose figures pertaining to the expenditure on anti-Coronavirus operations and also the likely impact of lockdown so far and in future due to lockdown.

Except for announcing 12 kg rice and Rs. 1500 for nearly 87 lakh White Ration Card holders, no other section of the society which was hit due to lockdown was offered any help. Therefore, he demanded that a comprehensive relief package be announced covering all the segments which were hit due to lockdown.

The video-conference was attended by nearly 60 top leaders including DCC Presidents, Heads of TPCC frontal organisations and others. Over 20 leaders expressed their views during the video-conference. (INN)

Hasten up distribution of relief among poor, Uttam tells TS Govt

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday demanded that the State Government hasten up the process of providing rice and other relief among people, especially the poor population.

He was speaking to media persons after flagging off the transport of 1.5 Lakh bottles of sanitisers to Jadcherla constituency in Gandhi Bhavan today.

The sanitiser bottles were donated by TPCC Coordinator Anirudh Reddy. He also inspected the functioning of Corona relief measures Control Room in Gandhi Bhavan.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the reports coming in from various districts were quite disturbing. “People are under lockdown since March 22. Daily wage earners, small traders, vendors, drivers and lakhs of others from unorganised sectors have no source of livelihood for the last 15 days.

In addition to nearly 87 lakh White Ration Card holders, there are lakhs of other families who are now solely dependent on help to be extended by the authorities.

However, the State Government did not provide promised free 12 kg rice to even 30% BPL families as on today. None of them got the promised Rs. 1500 cash. How does the government expect poor or even middle class people to survive for over 15 days with no sources of livelihood or food?” he asked.

The TPCC Chief said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has failed to accurately assess the impact Coronavirus and lockdown were likely to have on people of Telangana.

Even after 15 days, State Government has either failed to identify those hit due to lockdown or it was not a position to help those people. Instead, the Chief Minister is misleading the people with different promises and assurances.

“CM KCR must realise that promises of help being made with the people stranded in an emergency situation must be fulfilled without any delay. They are not electoral promises which could be dragged for five years. We can’t expect a hungry and weak population to fight a battle against the deadly Coronavirus,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy disputed the claims being made by the State Government on the relief distributed among BPL families and migrant workers.

He said not even 30% of beneficiaries got the promised 12 kg free rice and not a single rupee has been credited to their accounts so far. Similarly, not even 20% of over 3 lakh migrant workers stranded in Telangana got 10 kg rice and Rs. 500 cash from the government.

He demanded that 5 kg rice per person announced by the Central Government be delivered immediately. Similarly, nearly 3 lakh migrant workers need to be given appropriate additional assistance by the government.

Ongoing fight against Coronavirus might result in another humanitarian crisis if corrective measures are not taken immediately, he said.

The TPCC Chief advised CM KCR to take the criticism of opposition parties in a positive manner and take corrective measures. “As a responsible opposition, Congress party is trying to play a constructive role by identifying the lapses and suggesting corrective measures.

We are only highlighting the problems being faced by the people on ground. The Chief Minister must consider for calling an all-party meeting, at least through video-conference, to ascertain the views of other parties and take their suggestions in a constructive manner,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also slammed the Central Government for slow pace of relief and assistance being given to States. He said that the Central Government has promised one free LPG cylinder for three months to the beneficiaries of Ujwala Scheme.

Since the beneficiaries of Ujwala Scheme in Telangana are very less, he demanded that the scheme be extended for the beneficiaries of Deepam Scheme in the State. He said that the Central Government’s relief of just Rs. 11,000 crore assistance to States was too little and too late.

The TPCC Chief said instructions have been issued to all Congress workers to partiipate in relief works across the State. He said the Congress leaders and workers across Telangana State have been helping the poor and needy in whatever form they could.

He said that the Control Room at Gandhi Bhavan has been coordinating the relief works and all DCCs have been directed to set up similar Control Rooms at district level. He said dedicated WhatsApp Groups were being formed for effective coordination.

Later, the TPCC Chief inaugurated the Grain Procurement Centre in Mallepally mandal in Devarkonda constituency in Nalgonda district. (INN)

Coronavirus: Uttam asks CM KCR to restore services of MGNREGA Field Assistants

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Saturday demanded that the State Government restore the services of 7,500 Field Assistants who work for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) in view of Coroanvirus situation.

In an open letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the MGNREGA Fields Assistants went on strike following imposition of new conditions for renewal of their contracts as per Circular No. 4779/2020 dated February 28, 2020.

As per the circular, it was proposed that the contracts of those Field Assistants would not be renewed who fail to meet the targets.

However, in view of situation that emerged due to Coronavirus, the Field Assistants have offered to call off the strike unconditionally to rejoin duties.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the ongoing lock down to prevent spread of Coronavirus had a negative impact on the labourers in rural areas and the State Government need to undertake lot of works under MGNREGA to provide them work as well as increase their income as per the package announced recently by the Centre as a part of the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

Therefore, the TPCC Chief urged CM KCR to restore the services of 7,500 Field Assistants and utilise their services to begin the MGNREGA works in rural areas. (INN)

Uttam condemns salary cut for government employees, pensioners

Hyderabad: Strongly condemning the cut in salaries for government employees and pensions, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday demanded that the State Government pay the entire amount in two instalments on the lines of other States like Maharashtra.

Uttam Kumar Reddy, along with CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikarmarka, ex-Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha, ex-PCC President V. Hanumantha Rao, AICC Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan and other leaders reviewed the Coronavirus situation in Telangana at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference later, Uttam Kumar Reddy said it was strange that the Chief Minister has announced a huge salary cut after one week of lockdown which has exposed his government’s incompetence to manage State’s finance.

He said the financial crisis was the result of mismanagement by KCR Government. While no other State in the country has announced a salary cut, Telangana, which KCR’s has repeatedly described as the richest State in the country, has only announced a salary cut for employees by 50%, but also slashed the pensioners pay by half.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said it was strange that only one week of lockdown has pushed Telangana into such a huge crisis that the government was not having money to pay full salaries to its employees. He demanded that the State Government release a White Paper on Telangana’s financial condition.

He said that the Congress party has been pointing out since beginning that the TRS Government had set the wrong priorities and it was spending money for non-productive purposes which pushed the State into deep crisis.

He said Telangana had inherited debts of nearly Rs. 69,000 crore at the time of its formation on June 2, 2014. Now the debts have scaled up to nearly Rs. 3 lakh crore while the State was near bankrupt.

The TPCC Chief said that Prime Minister Narender Modi and CM KCR have directed the private companies and institutions to pay full salaries to the employees, including for the lockdown period, on time. But it is highly inappropriate that KCR himself has announced a pay-cut for the government staff and pensioners.

He said that average monthly revenues of Telangana Government were nearly Rs. 9-10,000 crore and it spends about Rs. 3400 crore on salaries and pensions.

Therefore, he said it sounds illogical when government claims that it has no money to pay full salaries just due to one-week of lockdown. He said that the Chief Minister should clarify on this. He said cut in pensioners’ amount was highly unacceptable as they are elderly persons with no alternate sources of revenues.

They required money for medicines and other needs. Therefore, cut in pensions would have a huge negative impact on their lives.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said Hyderabad was the main source of revenue in undivided Andhra Pradesh and it used to cater to the needs of 23 districts.

After bifurcation, the same source is catering to the needs of only 10 districts. He said that the State Government could have utilised its revenues in a better manner. He said there was an increase in State’s revenues, but the government was not spending it in a proper manner.

The Nalgonda MP said that the entire staff of Health Department including doctors, nurses and para-medical staff, police personnel, municipal staff, revenue department and other wings of the State Government have been working additionally compared to normal days to beat the Coronavirus.

They are risking their lives to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. “Will it be appropriate for the government to cut their salaries at this crucial juncture?” he asked.

He pointed out that the Chief Minister, in his speech in Assembly during budget session, had assured that the government would spend even Rs. 10,000 crore if required to deal with the Coronavirus situation.

However, after one-week of lockdown, the Chief Minister has announced cut in salaries citing economic slowdown. He demanded that the State Government pay full salaries at least in two instalments as it was being done by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh Governments.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also condemned the TRS Government for calling tenders of nearly Rs. 20,000 crore for Kaleshwaram Project.

He said what was the need to call for those tenders during an health emergency and when entire focus should be on dealing with the epidemic. He also asked as to how the State Government would fund those tenders when it was not in a position to pay full salaries to its staff.

CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka said that the State Government so far did not spend a huge amount to control the spread of Coronavirus or its treatment. (INN)

Congress demands TRS Govt to be honest on minority budget

Hyderabad: City Congress Minorities Chairman Sameer Waliullah stated that the budget allocation for Minorities Welfare in the state is proving shallow each year ever since the TRS Government came to power in the State. The same is evident in the recent state budget where allocation was cut short to only Rs 1,518 crore for minorities.

Unfortunately, the budget proposal for Minorities Welfare is not even 1 % of the total state budget and it shows the sincerity of the government in this regard.

He said that TRS had announced to upgrade about 71 Minorities Residential Schools into Junior Colleges this year but the budget allocations do not support this announcement.

He questioned as to how the State government would establish the Junior Colleges without sufficient funds for the minorities welfare. He said that KCR has been hoodwinking the minorities by taking up some superficial measures for the minorities.

Sameer said that there was no separate minister for Minorities in the previous cabinet that threw the minority welfare department to the winds. He further said that the percentage of expenditure from the allocated budget did not even cross 50% during the past few years.

In the financial year 2018-19, state government had allocated Rs 1,973.41 crore of which only Rs 703.24 crore were spent making it only 36.6% of the total allocation.

Similarly, Rs 1367 crore were allocated for the year 2019-20 but most of the allocated budget lapsed due to non-utilization. He asked the Chief Minister as to what was the point in allocation if the funds are not utilized for the Minorities welfare.

He said that budget allocation for minorities was high on announcement and low on delivery or spending. All the schemes pertaining to Minorities would be affected because of the lower allocation of funds coupled with lesser use of the allocated budget in the coming days. He demanded the state government to be genuine in delivering the minorities welfare schemes. (INN)