The AP government will have to spend around Rs 3,708 crore to fulfil the promises made by the new Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy during his election campaign such as employing village volunteers and setting up of village secretariats.
This will be an additional burden on the state’s not very robust exchequer. The finance department has assessed that at least Rs 1500 crore will be needed to pay the village volunteers in this financial year, and Rs 2,208 crore to those who work in the village secretariats.
Promising to cut corruption in delivering governance, especially in the implementation of various government schemes, the new Chief Minister in his maiden speech after taking oath on May 30 in Vijayawada, announced that by August 15, four lakh village volunteers will be appointed across the state for door-to-door delivery of government schemes.
He said there will be one village volunteer for every 50 households who will be paid a monthly honorarium of `5,000. He also said that a secretariat will be established in every village across the state by October 2, Gandhi Jayanti day.
Mr Reddy added that every village secretariat will have 10 government staff and around 1.6 lakh new government staff will be recruited for the purpose. And any government scheme will be implemented within 72 hours from the time the application is given at the village secretariat.
Mr Reddy has also announced that a call centre will be attached to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and any complaint regarding the implementation of government schemes can be lodged there and action will be taken on complaints of any kind, including corruption, immediately. The call centre will be opened on August 15.
The village volunteers and village secretariats were on top of Mr Reddy’s agenda during his padayatra. The two items also came up prominently during the discussions that took place during Mr Reddy’s review of finance and revenue departments with senior officials on June 1.