Telangana Budget to focus on vocation groups
Deccan Chronicle| L Venkat Ram Reddy
CM looks to strengthen TRS through allocations.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao
Hyderabad: The Telangana state government is getting ready to present a ‘vocation-based’ Budget for 2017-18, sometime in mid-February. The latest Budget is being viewed as the TRS’ strategy to strengthen its vote bank in the run-up to the 2019 Assembly elections. For the next 15 days, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will hold meetings at his new camp office to finalise the Budget allotments to each group, belonging to various castes.
Mr Rao has held meetings with Gangaputra community (occupation: Fishing), Golla (goat/ sheep rearing) and has lined up more such meetings with Nayee Brahmins, Rajaka (washermen) and Kummari (potters) in the coming days. Besides, the names of B.R. Ambedkar, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Kumaram Bheem, Jyotirao Phule and Basaveswara will be prefixed to various welfare schemes targeted at different groups.
On Friday, the CM held a marathon meeting of nearly six hours to discuss schemes to be implemented for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes using SC/ST Sub-Plan funds. In all, 38 SC/ST public representatives (MPs, MLCs and MLAs) from all major political parties participated in the meeting. This would be followed by representatives of SC/ ST organisations this week. In the meeting, Mr Rao said: "Let us study what to do for the different age groups among these communities. Also what are we going to plan for the elderly, the youth and students. Strategies should be formed for the age groups of 10-25, 25-50 and 50-75. Already, we have launched residential schools for students to provide quality education. Our focus should now be on other age groups."
The CM has lined up meetings with Padmashali community, especially those castes from this community that are into weaving profession. The government had earlier prefixed Jyothirao Phule for BC overseas scholarships scheme of Rs 20 lakh each for students and B.R. Ambedkar for members of the SC/ ST community. Plans are being devised to prefix the names of other caste icons for different schemes.
Finance minister Etala Rajender said, "The broader idea behind this exercise is to encourage caste-based occupations, which have been grossly neglected in undivided AP. This resulted in large-scale migration of people from rural to urban areas. We want to reverse migration now by providing people livelihood at their native place itself and the new Budget is aimed in this direction."