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Are Buggana and Rawat unhappy with CMO official?

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The buzz in the secretariat circles and among the government employees these days is that both the Finance Minister and the principal Secretary finance are not to be seen in their chambers. Not just that, they are not accessible even to the officers and the employees.

Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath is rarely paying a visit to his chambers these days. There are rumours that principal secretary finance SS Rawat too is rarely seen in the secretariat. Sources say that Buggana is silent these days. According to them, both Buggana and Rawat are said to be unhappy at the domination of an official from the CMO. Sources say that Buggana is upset over the control of the CMO officials over his department.

Sources say that initially, Buggana enjoyed the confidence of the CM, but now, he has to get the nod of a CMO official to get even his bills passed. Reports also said that Jagan had instructed the finance ministry officials that payments should be made only after the CMO official gives his nod. This is said to be at the root of Buggana’s discomfiture.

Interestingly, secretarial employees union leaders Bopparaju and Bandi Srinivasa Rao too indicated that they were unable to meet the minister and the secretary to air their problems. They said because of their inability to meet these two individuals, they were forced to take up the agitational path.

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AP govt allows theatres to work with 100% occupancy from Thu

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Amid the steady decline in coronavirus cases, the Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday (today) announced further lockdown relaxations permitting theatres to screen films with 100 per cent occupancy.

AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy issued orders to this effect as a ‘Dasara gift”, which will come into effect from Thursday (tomorrow)

The decision came as a big relief to Tollywood film industry and exhibitors who have been appealing to CM Jagan for a long to allow theatres to work with 100 per cent occupancy since neighbouring Telangana state government has been allowing 100 percent occupancy since June.

Earlier, the AP government had permitted cinema halls to re-open from July 8 with 50 per cent capacity. Theatres were allowed operate shows between 6 am to 9 pm following Covid-19 safety practices, including compulsory face-mask, hand sanitization and social distancing inside cinema halls.

The AP government has directed theatres to follow Covid norms strictly while functioning with 100 per cent capacity from Thursday.

With some big film releases lined up for Dasara and Diwali, Tollywood and exhibitors heaved a sigh of relief over the AP government’s latest decision to allow theatres to work with 100 per cent capacity.

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AP Govt yields to employees agitation, begins talks over timely payment of salaries

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In a major comedown, the AP Government has decided to hold talks with the government employees, who are on a warpath. The employees have been demanding timely payment of salaries and have been decrying the inordinate delay in the payment of salaries. They threatened to launch an agitation on the issue. The government has decided to hold talks with the employees. The CMO officials have sent an invitation to the employees union leaders to hold talks.

Accordingly, the first round of talks were held on Tuesday where government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy and chief secretary Sameer Sharma met JAC leaders Bandi Srinivasa Rao and Bopparaju Venkateswarlu. The employees’ union leaders have put forth their demand and said that they would be left with no option but to go ahead with the agitation.

They reportedly insisted on salary payment on the first date of the month, implementation of PRC by Dasara, scrapping of the contributory pension scheme, regularisation of the contract employees and hike in the salaries of the outsourcing employees.

AP and Amaravati Employees Joint Action Committee chairperson Bandi Srinivas Rao has said that the funds allocated for payment of salaries was being used to purchase dog biscuits for the officials. He said that something of this sort has never happened. Never were funds meant for paying salaries used for other purposes, he said.

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Centre angry on AP govt over CID chief Sunil Kumar issue!

The union home ministry has expressed severe anger over Andhra Pradesh government for failing to submit ATR (action taken report) on APCID chief Sunil Kumar.

It may be mentioned that the union home ministry ordered AP government on July 4 this year to submit ATR to Centre on Sunil Kumar following complaints lodged by YSRCP rebel MP Raghurama Krisham Raju against him.

However, the YSRCP government failed to submit ATR to union home ministry even after three months.

It may be recalled that Raghurama filed a complaint with union home ministry alleging that APCID chief Sunil Kumar was spreading communal hatred in AP by attending prayer meetings of one faith and speaking against other faiths, religions.

The union home ministry took serious view of this issue and asked AP government to submit ATR on Sunil Kumar.

But there is no response from AP government so far. With this, the union home ministry has again sent a letter to AP GAD secretary on Saturday to furnish ATR. The AP GAD secretary referred the letter to AP DGP Gautham Sawang.

It may be recalled that APCID chief Sunil Kumar arrested Raghurama in May this year after booking sedition cases against him for speaking against YSRCP government and for speaking against few castes and instigating communal unrest in AP.

Raghurama alleged that APCID sleuths resorted to third-degree methods in jail, tortured him and beaten him up badly. Raghurama however came out on bail in June on the directions of the Supreme Court.

After coming out of bail, Raghurama lodged complaints with union home ministry against Sunil Kumar.

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AP govt advisor refutes state’s links with Guj drug bust

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The emergence of a Vijayawada angle to the massive drug bust by the DRI in Gujarat recently has developed into a political battle between the ruling YSRCP and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh.

In the latest development on Tuesday, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government, accused the TDP and some regional media houses of peddling fake news.

“Based on the information that some person named Sudhakar had given either his or his in-laws’ address, they are going to the extent of saying ‘AP has become a safe haven for drug suppliers’. This is absolutely false, there is no truth in these allegations. The TDP, its leaders and allied sectors are merely spreading fake news to meet their political agenda,” Sajjala said while speaking to the media.

In September, the DRI had seized 2,988.22 kg of heroin with an estimated street value of Rs 2,000 crore from the Mundra Port in Gujarat. The consignment originated from Afghanistan, and was shipped to Gujarat from the Bandar Abbas Port in Iran. The GST number used for the consignment allegedly belonged to a company registered in Vijayawada. Ever since, the TDP has been targeting the ruling YSRCP on the issue.

Sajjala also stated that the YSRCP and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, like all other Indians, want the investigating agency to take the case to its logical conclusion and punish those responsible for such a serious offence as severely as possible.

He also pointed out at the huge quantities of ganja or marijuana siezed by the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) as a proof of the state government’s resolve to fight the drug menace.

“Since its inception, a total of 2.5 lakh kgs of ganja has been seized by the SEB. The reason it is seen in the news more often is because the state government is taking action. The previous government either slept over it or was hand-in-glove with the perpetrators, because of which there was never any chatter on such issues,” he said.

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Andhra govt to provide free sanitary napkins to girl students

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In a bid to ensure access to menstrual hygiene for adolescent girls and young women, the Andhra Pradesh government has launched a program under which branded sanitary napkins will be provided free of cost to girl students of government educational institutions.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday launched ‘Swechha’ program to tackle the stigma attached to menstruation, prioritize female personal hygiene, and encourage a healthy dialogue of information.

“One should not shy away from talking about menstruation. We need to create more awareness among female students and educate them on safe practices,” the Chief Minister observed on the occasion.

Under the initiative, the state government will provide quality branded sanitary napkins to female students at government educational institutions, free of cost. Ten sanitary napkins will be given every month to about 10 lakh adolescent girls studying from 7-12 grades in all government schools and intermediate colleges across the state at a financial outlay of Rs 32 crore. A total of 120 napkins per year is allotted to every female student. Even during summer vacations, the students will be supplied with their quota before they leave school.

“We are a government that strongly believes that the power to change history lies with the women in our state, let us help them move forward,” the Chief Minister said.

The branded free sanitary products being supplied are a result of the state government entering MOUs with corporate conglomerates like P&G and Niine Pvt Ltd.

Additionally through the MOUs signed, sanitary napkins will be sold at YSR Cheyutha retail stores at lowered prices to around 1 crore women residing in both rural and urban areas.

Each school will have a female educator appointed as a nodal officer to help female students with sanitary napkins supply, safe methods of disposal, and any assistance the students may require.

Further for a safer and environment-friendly way of disposal, the state government has set up 6,417 incinerators across the state through the Clean Andhra Pradesh (CLAP) initiative.

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After fake challans scam, CM Relief Fund scam in AP!

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Scams are coming to light one after the other under YSRCP regime in Andhra Pradesh.

The recent fake challans scam in stamps and registrations department created tremors in all the districts in AP.

It was found that few officials in nexus with brokers have siphoned off Rs 13 crore through fake challans. Of this, Rs 6 crore has been recovered so far.

Latest, CM Relief Fund scam came to light in AP Secretariat.

It was found that few officials and staff in Chief Minister’s Office siphoned off crores of rupees by submitting fake medical bills.

CMRF is meant to help poor people who cannot afford costly treatment in private hospitals.

It was found that CMRF staff secured data of poor people, submitted fake bills and claimed the amount from state government.

The government ordered inquiry into this scam.

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Online Ticket Pricing: Crucial decisions to be made by AP Govt

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Several top distributors and exhibitors along with a bunch of producers met AP Film Development Corporation officials along with the Cinematography Minister Perni Nani to discuss the issues. Most of the discussions happened about the hike in the ticket prices and Perni Nani responded on a positive note. He said that he would discuss this with the Chief Minister after which the final call would be taken. All the distributors and exhibitors who attended the meeting had to vote for the ticket pricing portal that will be controlled by the AP government as the hike in the ticket pricing is the need of the hour.

They also discussed about 100 percent occupancy and special pricing for benefit shows during the meeting. They also discussed flexible ticket pricing as per the film’s budget and Perni Nani promised to place this request before YS Jagan soon. G Adhiseshagiri Rao, C Kalyan, Mythri Ravi, KL Damodar Prasad and others attended the meeting along with the AP exhibitors and distributors.

C Kalyan made some sensational comments that the filmmakers have been announcing fake collections to bring hype for their film among the audience. The videos of C Kalyan went viral all over. The meeting concluded after the celebrities placed the requests. They anonymously gave a positive nod for the government’s ticket portal which will be maintained by the AP Government.

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AP cabinet clears implementation of sub-plan for minorities

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The Andhra Pradesh cabinet headed by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has cleared the implementation of a sub-plan for minorities at par with SC, ST and BCs, keeping in mind the welfare of minorities across the state.

The cabinet, which met on Thursday, also cleared a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for all the people who have availed housing loans from the Andhra Pradesh Housing Corporation Ltd between 1983 and August 15, 2011.

Briefing the media after the cabinet meeting, Minister for Information and Public Relations, Perni Venkatramaiah, said that while an amount of Rs 10,000 has been fixed for OTS in the rural areas, it is Rs 15,000 in municipalities and Rs 20,000 in corporations.

“The borrowers can avail the OTS scheme by paying the prescribed amount till December 15 and the Revenue Department officials will register the land to the OTS scheme beneficiaries on December 21, 2021,” the minister said.

Apart from the OTS scheme, the cabinet also decided to release the second installment of the YSR Asara programme. The minister said that financial assistance of Rs 6,470.76 crore will be given to women in 8,00,042 self-help groups.

The cabinet also approved moving ahead on proposals with the Solar Energy Corporation of India to implement 10,000 MW solar power project to supply 9-hour day time free power to farmers on a sustainable basis for the next 30 years, at a rate of Rs 2.49 per unit.

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Open Letter : Muslims are not happy with mutton marts

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Many people of Andhra Pradesh are not happy with the decision of the Jaganmohan Reddy government regarding the establishment of mutton marts. The YSRCP government says that the aim of this decision is to sell hygienic mutton to the customers. And one more thing the government says this is to bring the sky touching rates of the mutton to down. Whatever the governmen says as reasons for its decisions no one in the state is ready to believe. If the government wants to sell hygienic mutton to the consumers, there are so many ways to do it. The government need not enter directly into the business. And circar wants to bring the prices down. No other ways to bring the mutton prices down. Is there any logic in entering the mutton business ?

It seems that the government wants to bring the mutton business into its control. Now a days CM Jaganmohan Reddy wants everything under his control. A few days back the government issued a GO regarding the sale of cinema tickets through a special portal. This is nothing but to control the Telugu film industry where Kamma community is in the lead. Mutton business is not a corporate business. Its a small business generally done by poor muslims and yadavs in some areas normally. If the government enters into this business, what about the livelihood of the poor muslims ? Except a few pockets the entire muslim community supported YSR CP in the recently concluded assembly elections. Now Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy wants to give a return gift to the muslims of AP. As a Chief Minister there are so many things to look after for Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The government should act as a govenment. It has to formulate policies which can bring changes in the lives of the poor and middle income people. It should focus on the unemployment issue. What about the industrialisaion in the state ? The government is not in a position to establish any new industries in the state. Moreover many industralists are not happy with the policies of the AP government. They are shifting their industrial establishments to oher states. The growth regarding IT industry is very low. Thousands of young people are fleeing to Hyderbad and Banglore in search of jobs in IT industry. In these circumstances why the government is eager to launch mutton marts questions the common man of Andhra Pradesh.

S. Abdul Khalik

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AP Government to launch a Movie Ticketing Portal

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The new ticket pricing GO for movie tickets came as a rude shock for the film fraternity. The ticket prices are slashed badly that most of the exhibitors decided to shut the screens till the prices are revised. There are talks that a group of Tollywood celebrities will meet AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy to discuss about the issues but the meeting never happened. The government of Andhra Pradesh issued a Government Order announcing a movie ticketing portal that will be run by the state government.

The government after careful examination of the sale of tickets in cinemas decided to develop a portal for online ticket booking for movie tickets. The online ticket system will be managed by the AP State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation. A committee is formed to finalize and launch the online ticketing portal soon in the state. This would be a good move to keep transparency in the ticketing system and the prices. But before this, the prices have to be revised for the exhibition industry to survive.

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Andhra govt gives permission to start Bhavanampadu port works

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The Andhra Pradesh government has given permission to start the first phase work worth Rs 4,362 crore for the Bhavanampadu port in Srikakulam district, senior YSRCP leader and Rajya Sabha member V. Vijayasai Reddy said on Saturday.

“Permission to start first phase works worth Rs 4,362 crore has been sanctioned for Bhavanampadu port in Srikakulam,” said Reddy.

He said the port would be developed in a land parcel of 6,410 acres.

“Jagan’s government is focusing on developing the coastal region,” the MP noted.

Meanwhile, the MP highlighted that no state will feature signboards signalling exhaustion of government school admissions.

“No state will have signboards saying government school seats are over. Schools teeming with students is an example of Jagan’s revolutionary reforms.”

He alleged that during the former N. Chandrababu Naidu’s regime, there were many schools with one teacher not even having five students to teach.

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Fake challans scam exposes huge corruption in AP registrations!

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The fake challans scam that was unearthed in Andhra Pradesh has exposed the huge corruption prevailing in stamps and registration department.

AP revenue department special chief secretary Rajat Bhargava said they have verified 60 lakh challans across the state.

All the property registrations done since March this year were verified and found that transactions worth nearly Rs 5.50 crore were done through fake challans.

Rajat Bhargava said they will recover the amount from officials who resorted to irregularities and no one will be spared.

He said already six sub-registrars have been suspended and the inquiry is going on.

Rajat Bhargava said the fraudsters exploited the loopholes in the software used for registrations and now this issue has been fixed.

Meanwhile, the Jagan government is facing huge embarrassment after fake challans scam came to light.

Officials working in revenue and stamps and registrations department involving in the scam has exposed huge corruption prevailing in these departments.

However, the government is trying to save its face by saying that the government itself has unearthed this scam during inspections and caught fraudsters on it own to save public money.

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AP govt took Rs 56,000 cr loans outside Budget: Centre

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The Centre on Tuesday (today) confirmed in Parliament that the Andhra Pradesh government reeling under severe financial crisis and caught in debt trap.

Union minister of state for finance Bhagwad Karad told Rajya Sabha that the YSRCP government took over Rs 56,000 crore off budget loans (which are not mentioned in the State Annual Budget) since April 2019 till date.

To a question raised by TDP Rajya Sabha member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, the union minister replied that AP government took these loans from various public sector banks in the name of corporations and companies owned by state government.

Of this, the AP government took highest loans of Rs 15,047 crore from State Bank of India.

Bank of Baroda extended loans of Rs 9,450 crore, Bank of India Rs 7,075 crore, Union Bank of India Rs 6,800 crore, Punjab National Bank Rs 5,797 crore, Indian Bank Rs 4,300 crore, Bank of Maharashtra Rs 2,800 crore, Central Bank Rs 2,307 crore, Indian Overseas Bank Rs 1,750 crore, Punjab and Sind Bank Rs 750 crore.

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AP govt admits 23 died due to oxygen shortage at Ruia Hospital!

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The YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh led by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy admitted that as many as 23 Covid patients died in Ruia Government Hospital in Tirupati in May this year due to shortage of oxygen.

The AP government filed an affidavit to this effect in AP High Court today (Saturday).

The AP government told court that though officials informed in advance about oxygen shortage, the contractor failed to ensure adequate supplies due to which this incident happened.

The government informed court that criminal cases have been booked against Bharat Pharma Oxygen company, which failed to supply oxygen as per contract.

The government told court that it paid Rs 10 lakh compensation to each of the kin of 23 victims.

The government told court that it took all the measures to ensure adequate oxygen supplies at all government hospitals in AP and also ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future.

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Companies should operate without polluting environment: YSRCP

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Advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, said on Wednesday that all companies, whether Indian or foreign, should operate without polluting the environment in the state.

He made these remarks while saying that there is no objection if Amara Raja Batteries Limited (ARBL) stays in the state.

The senior YSRCP leader said that the company can run its operations without polluting the air and water.

Reddy also noted that the company has to follow all the norms without causing any problem to the people.

On Tuesday night, the state government had clarified that no industry is being singled out as reported by some sections of media in the past couple of days.

However, it made it clear that ARBL was one of the 50 industries which were given notices to close, and was among 64 industries which were served notices to stop production due to excessive pollution.

During inspections, pollution levels were found to be high in some industries, violating the norms, which also included the battery company owned by the family of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Jayadev Galla.

Forest department secretary R. Vijay Kumar said that air, water and land are being polluted to a great extent, even affecting the health of the employees working in these identified industries.

He said that Nayudu Cheruvu, Gollapalli reservoir and other tanks were highly contaminated with lead ranging from 134.79 mm to 3,159 mm, including 4-5 km radius surrounding some of the industries.

Reddy asserted that Amaraja was emitting dangerous pollution and reminded that even the high court had warned the company.

When 55 people were tested for lead levels, he said, 44 were found to have impermissible levels because of the pollution emanating from the company and highlighted that nothing is more important to the government than the health of the people.

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AP govt rejects Justice NV Ramana’s mediation offer on Krishna water row

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The YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh headed by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Wednesday (today) rejected the offer made by Supreme Court Chief Justice NV Ramana to mediate between AP and Telangana to resolve Krishna water row between both the States.

Justice Ramana made this offer on Monday while hearing a petition filed by AP government against TS government on Krishna water sharing.

Justice Ramana suggested both the States to settle disputes through talks amicably instead of approaching courts and offered to mediate for talks.

AP government sought time to tell its view on mediation offer till today.

When the case came up for hearing today, AP government rejected mediation offer and told Justice NV Ramana that it wants to resolve water disputes with Telangana through legal means.

With this Justice Ramana transfered the case to other bench saying he will not hear this case as he belongs to both AP and Telangana.

Though Centre requested Justice NV Ramana to hear this case, he refused to do so.

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Andhra announces Rs 30L cash reward to Sindhu

Andhra Pradesh government announced a cash incentive of Rs 30 lakh to badminton superstar P.V. Sindhu, recognising her bronze medal winning feat in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy directed officials to extend the cash award late on Monday night as part of the state sports policy.

The policy offers a cash reward of Rs 75 lakh to gold medal winners, Rs 50 lakh for silver medal and Rs 30 lakh for bronze medal.

The Chief Minister had given a cash incentive of Rs 5 lakh to each of the three sportspersons, Sindhu, R. Satwiksairaj and women’s hockey player Rajani Etimarpu before they left for the Japanese capital.

During that time, the Chief Minister also gave a copy of the government order allocating two acre land to Sindhu to set up a badminton academy in the port city Visakhapatnam.

Sindhu is an employee of the Andhra Pradesh government. After her Rio Olympics exploits in 2016, former AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu gave her a job of deputy collector.

Coming to the cash incentive, Rs 30 lakh doled out now by the current AP government pales in comparison to the cash incentives she received after winning a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.

Back then, the Telangana government handed out an incentive of Rs 5 crore to Sindhu while the AP government gave Rs 3 crore and a plum government job as well.

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AP govt fails to pay salaries to staff again this month!

The Andhra Pradesh government which is reeling under severe financial crisis has failed to pay salaries for government employees and pensions for retired employees for the month of July.

Normally, the salaries and pensions will be credited to the bank accounts of staff on the first of every month.

But employees and pensioners did not receive the amount even on August 2 (today).

The state government requires Rs 5,000 crore to pay salaries and pensions for staff every month.

According to official sources, the finance department has no required funds to pay salaries, pensions even on August 2.

The finance department is now trying to mobilise loans to pay salaries, pensions tomorrow. The government has put up bonds worth Rs 1,000 crore for auction tomorrow (Tuesday) through RBI.

The balance Rs 4,000 crore will be moblised through other sources.

Since August 1 was Sunday, employees and pensioners expected amount on August 2 (today).

But they are angry and disappointed over not getting salaries even on August 2.

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Modi Govt exposes AP’s ‘excess loans’ in Parliament!

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The Centre today (Tuesday) issued a statement in Parliament that the YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh has breached the ‘permissible loan limit’ and availed ‘excess loans’ to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore in violation of FRBM norms.

The union minister of state for finance Pankaj Chowdhary responded on this issue in Rajya Sabha today.

To a question posed by TDP Rajya Sabha member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar on the loans availed by AP government, the union minister replied that AP government obtained loans in excess of Rs 4,000 crore.

He stated that AP was permitted to borrow Rs 30,305 crore for 2020-21.

Besides, AP was permitted to borrow an additional Rs 19,192 crore to tide over Covid financial crisis for 2021-21.

AP was allowed to borrow a total of Rs 49,497 crore for 2020-21 but AP government breached this limit and secured Rs 4,000 crore excess loans.

The union minister said the fiscal deficit of Andhra Pradesh as per 2020-21 budget is Rs 54,369 crore.

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