Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has turned his focus on better delivery of welfare schemes. Photo By Arrangement
Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has turned his focus on better delivery of welfare schemes. The schemes form a crucial component of the TRS government's goal of ‘Welfare to every house, Happiness on every face’.
Although the government has increased expenditure on welfare schemes from Rs 30,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 94,000 crore in 2022, implementing over 400 welfare schemes, the highest in the country, there have been largescale complaints against their lackadaisical implementation.
A significant chunk of people have not been receiving benefits in time and some are not receiving anything due to a poor delivery mechanism. Adding to this is the fact that monitoring at the official level has been insignificant. There were many gaps in sanction and release of funds and the actual expenditure incurred on schemes leading to discontent among beneficiaries.
Rao will soon review implementation of welfare schemes with ministers and officials and streamline the process, according to official sources. They pointed out that reports obtained by him through various sources on implementation of welfare schemes revealed that only Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima are being implemented effectively. Rythu Bandhu is reaching all the 64 lakh beneficiaries promptly twice a year against an annual expenditure of Rs 15,000 crore.
However, implementation of schemes like KCR Kits, Aasara pensions, sheep distribution, Kalyana Lakshmi, Shadi Mubarak, scholarships, fee reimbursement, Arogyasri and 2BHK housing has been found lagging.
For instance, although Aasara pensions are to be distributed before the 10th of every month, many beneficiaries are yet to receive the March amounts, including in Medak district. Women beneficiaries are only getting KCR Kits containing 16 items and not the financial assistance of Rs 12,000 in three installments prior and after delivery.
Beneficiaries who have paid their share of 25 per cent towards the sheep distribution scheme have not been paid anything since 2018. Fee reimbursement and distribution of scholarships to nearly 13 lakh students are pending for the last two years.
Although the state government is sanctioning adequate funds in the budget for implementation of welfare schemes, the problem is arising at the level of the finance department in the release of funds. The department is diverting funds towards irrigation projects and other development programmes whenever there is fund crunch.