VIJAYAWADA: Telugu Desam MLC P Ashok Babu on Tuesday demanded that the YSR Congress government announce a people-friendly sand policy to prevent the state economy from slipping into a deeper crisis, and create confidence among the builders and construction workers.
He asked why chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy was not able to sacrifice just Rs. 750crore in revenue as the sand tax, when a free sand policy would revive thousands of crores worth of construction industry and benefit lakhs of construction workers, plumbers, electricians, painters and all others who depended on this sector.
Addressing a press conference here, Ashok Babu said not just the realtors and developers, even the masons and workers were badly hit. “The YSRC policy on sand mining has raised construction cost by 30 to 35 per cent. Workers say they are not able to take enough money home now. Liquor costing Rs. 60 to Rs.70 in the past is now priced at Rs.150 to Rs. 200. The sand crisis has hit all sectors of the state economy.”
Ashok Babu said the AP annual Budget is of the order of Rs.2 lakh crore, but Jagan Reddy was not willing to sacrifice even Rs. 750crore out of this by way of providing free sand to the construction sector. He alleged that the CM was enjoying his luxuries at his Tadepalli palace just as Roman Emperor Nero kept fiddling with his flute when the Great City of Rome was burning.
He recalled that even some YSRC MLAs raised concerns on the bad impact of the existing sand policy but the government was not changing.
Ashok Babu urged the Jagan government to explain to the public as to what it was going to do to revive confidence in the construction industry set between Vijayawada and Guntur.
Meanwhile, Venkatagiri legislator Anam Ramanarayana Reddy said YSRC men will not keep quiet if anyone attacked Chief Minister Jagan. Stressing that the CM has devised outstanding welfare schemes for all sections of the people, he said the Opposition was targeting the CM as it was unable to bear with the overwhelming public response to Jagan’s welfare programmes. He was addressing a large gathering during the distribution of house sites at Petluru village in Venkatagiri constituency on Tuesday.
The former finance minister observed that TDP leaders were badmouthing the police system in the state and expressed surprise over their objections to the appointment of RP Thakur as RTC MD. Reddy said the people would teach a lesson to the Telugu Desam Party.
Reddy lauded the government for providing seeds at 80 per cent subsidy to the farmers who suffered crop damage during the cyclones last year. He thanked the CM for sanctioning Rs.39 crore for the development of the rural areas of Venkatagiri constituency.
He said, “We will find a permanent solution to the problems affecting the development of Venkatagiri municipality and mobilise funds with support from the CM for infra development.” Referring to the allocation of house pattas to 8,627 eligible in Venkatagiri segment, he said they have already handed over pattas to 7,130 beneficiaries and would distribute the rest soon.