Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. (Photo by arrangement)
MANCHERIAL: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday announced sops for Singareni coalmine workers and a raise in pension for disabled persons. The announcements are timed for the Assembly elections; the Singareni collieries are spread over 24 Assembly seats.
He also formally launched the distribution of sheep under the second phase of the state government scheme and Rs 1 lakh assistance to members of BC communities.
Rao announced that the government would give Rs 700 crore as bonus to the workers of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited. "We will give Rs 4,016 as pension to disabled persons from next month, against Rs 3,016 now."
The Chief Minister was addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the integrated development office complex and laying the foundation for a government medical college building, apart from stone-laying for an oil palm processing industry and a bridge on Godavari, and a lift irrigation scheme at an estimated cost of Rs 1,700 in Chennur, among other development works.
Rao announced Rs 700 core as a bonus for Dasara to the Singareni workers. This is from the profits of Rs 2,184 crore for SCCL this year. He said the bonus was nearly two times more than the profits SCCL was making during the Congress rule in the past. Generally, the state government announces a bonus to coal sector employees based on the SCCL profits ahead of Diwali.
He said SCCL used to record Rs 300 crore - Rs 400 crore profit per year in the past but it made an Rs 11,000 crore turnover in 2014 and it has increased to Rs 33,000 crore now.
Rao criticised the Congress for its "poor administration" of the SCCL and handing over 49 per cent of its share to the Centre as it was unable to clear debts.
He also criticised the Central government led by the BJP over its attempt to privatise SCCL and wasting foreign exchange by importing coal from Australia and Indonesia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the coal belt area and announced that the Centre will not privatise coal blocks but announced the privatization within no time when he went to Bengaluru, the Chief Minister said.
Rao said, "We will expand the SCCL since it has expertise in mining and will go for mining of other deposits like iron ore available in Khammam." He said the nation has a reserve of 361 billion tonnes of coal, which is "sufficient for the nation’s need for the next 150 years."
Rao again attacked the Congress for talking about "throwing the Dharani into the Bay of Bengal if they come to power" and reeled out the benefit of the Dharani and how it is helping the farmers and other people get money under various welfare schemes without any glitches.
He warned the people against voting the Congress to power, saying that will destroy the Dharani system and push the farmers again into trouble. He added, "It could even lead to a revocation of the earlier patel and patwari system."
The CM said Telangana has secured the first place and walked past Punjab in paddy cultivation and added that Telangana's paddy yield is 3 crore tonnes this year. "The total area under paddy cultivation in the country is 94 lakh acres. Of these, 56.40 lakh acres are in Telangana."
"So far, we have given Rs 65,000 crores to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu in the state."
Slogans of ‘Desh Ki Netha Kaisa Ho KCR Ke Jaisa Ho’ and ‘Ek Do Teen Bar… Desh Ki Netha KCR’ reverberated at the meeting in Mancherial. The slogan ‘BJP Ko Hatavo…. Desh Ko Bachavo’ was also raised during the meeting. Singer Sai Chand gave a different abbreviation for KCR, namely Kaluvalu… Cheruvulu and Reservoirs’. The singers refered to Rao as Prime Minister.
There was a huge crowd at the meeting despite the showers at around 4.30 pm. Women in large numbers were mobilized for the meeting from across the erstwhile Adilabad district and the bordering Peddapalli district.
Ministers Indrakaran Reddy, Prashanth Reddy, Gangula Kamakalar, Koppula Eshwar and ZP chairman Kova Laxmi, Rathod Janardhan and Bhagya Laxmi and BRS MLAs Balka Suman, Rathod Bapurao, Atram Sakku, Jogu Ramanna, Diwakar Rao, Durgan Chinnaiah, Rekha Naik, MLC Dande Vittal, Naradasu Laxman, former MLA Nallala Odelu, former MLC Puranam Satish and MP Venkatesh Netha were present.