Hyderabad, May 24 (NSS): The State government has decided to take up “Indira Jala Prabha” at a cost of Rs 1,600 crores under which 10 lakh acres of SCs, STs and assigned lands will be developed by 2015. Briefing the media of the decisions of the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, the Minister for Information and Public Relations, Ms D K Aruna, said that “Indira Jala Prabha” aims at developing the SC, ST and assigned lands cultivable and see the land owner gets at least Rs 25,000 income per acre through utilization of micro irrigation methods. The project would be implemented in two phases and completed by 2015. The scheme would be taken up under the Centre-sponsored NREGP scheme. The government also decided to get Rs 800 crores from NREGP and Rs 800 crores from NABARD towards the project cost, she added. It was one of the major decision taken up at the cabinet meeting, she felt. “It was also decided to increase the construction cost of SC and ST houses taken up under housing schemes. The construction of several houses of SC and STs remained incomplete due to lack of money. Keeping this in mind, the government has decided to increase construction cost of a house to Rs 65,000 in rural areas and Rs 87,000 in urban areas. With this, there was hike in loan amount to SCs by Rs 20,000 in rural areas and Rs 30,000 in urban areas for SC, STs house construction. It was applicable to all the houses which were under construction and incomplete. For the purpose, Rs 1,886-crore additional budget would be needed in the next three years that means Rs 500 crores per year. I am confident that this would pave the way for completion of the houses which were stopped at various stages. ”, she added. She also said that it was also decided to allocate Rs 200 crores for acquisition of land for house sites for homeless poor in the State. Of the amount, the Centre would bear Rs 100 crores and the remaining amount would be met by the State government, she added. The Minister also informed that the Cabinet also approved the decision of hiking the State government employees’ DA by 5.136 percent. The increased DA would come into effect from January 1, 2011 to both the government employees and pensioners. With this decision, DA of the State government employees would go up to 29.96 percent. The hiked DA from January to April would be deposited in the PF Accounts of the employees and from May, it would be extended to them in cash. The decision would cause Rs 1,194-crore additional burden on the State exchequer. Ms Aruna revealed that it was also decided to extend the reservation and five-year age relaxation to BCs in employment and educational opportunities for another 10 years. The decision was necessitated due to the expiry of reservation period by this month end. Reminding that the matter of BC (E) group reservation was in the Supreme Court, she made it clear that the government would follow the direction of the court. “The Chief Minister also informed the cabinet that he has requested the Centre to hike MSP for paddy by Rs 200 per quintal and allow the State for export of 11 lakh metric tons of paddy due to excess production. He also urged the Centre to set up 25 lakh metric tons capacity of new godowns. The Centre may respond to the Chief Minister’s requests in a week”, she added. The cabinet also discussed purchase of paddy from the farmers and availability of gunny bags, she added. (NSS)


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