Hyderabad: Several members of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday complained that the ‘Kalyana Lakshmi’ and ‘Shaadi Mubaarak’ cheques were reaching beneficiaries many months after their weddings. Responding to the complaints, Forests and Backward Classes Welfare Minister Jogu Ramanna said fresh instructions were issued that the cheques must be handed over at the weddings and that delays will not be tolerated.
He also asked the members to bring any specific instances of delays to the government’s notice so action can be taken in such cases. The Minister said so far 2,92,465 beneficiaries have received a total of Rs 1,642.02 crore. Ramanna said as on March 13 this year, only 20,000 applications were pending with the government under both schemes.
Responding to complaints that local officials during inspections on eligibility for receiving the benefit under the schemes were rejecting applications under different pretexts, the Minister said. The only guideline was the income levels of the beneficiary families which were Rs 1.5 lakh in rural areas and Rs 2 lakh in urban areas. He also agreed to issue instructions on accepting any official ID of the beneficiary that lists her age as 18 years.
Earlier, TRS members Ajmeera Rekha, Bodiga Shobha and P Ajay Kumar told the Minister of the delays in cheque distribution. They said in some cases, mistakes were being made in the cheques and it takes an additional six months for a fresh and correct cheque to be issued.
This was after a four to six month delay in issuing the cheque in the first place. NVSS Prabahakar of the BJP suggested that the budget should include a separate head for the schemes to ensure funds are released in time for distribution of the cheques.
Compensation to coal mine affected families
Minister for Energy G Jagadish Reddy asked the MLAs to take an active role in ensuring that any compensation due to families affected by coal mining activity by SCCL is given to such families in time. Responding to questions on the issue, the Minister said compensation for land acquired for the mines, damages to dwellings due to blasting are handled by the respective district Collectors.
The funds are deposited with the Collectors by SCCL and the MLAs can coordinate directly with these officials in such cases, Jagadish Reddy said. Sandra Venkata Veeraiah of the TDP, G Kishan Reddy of the BJP and Sunnam Rajaih of the CPI took part in the discussion on SCCL coal mining activity.
Panchayat Raj Legislation
The government will introduce a Bill on Panchayat Raj institutions in the State in the current budget session, Panchayat Raj Minister Jupalli Krishna Rao told the Assembly. He said elections to gram panchayats will be held as per the Panchayat Raj Act and that the district collectors will decide on conducting of the elections.