Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is learnt to have expressed severe anger at the tardy implementation of welfare schemes. The government spends Rs 90,000 crore every year on them but ground reports suggest that there is resentment among beneficiaries due to non-delivery of the benefits in time. Besides, the Opposition is pouncing on every delay and making political capital of it.
The CM asked secretaries of all departments and all Collectors to take measures to improve delivery mechanisms and submit a report to him in two weeks.
Officials sources said the CM had roped in several survey agencies including that of political strategist Prashant Kishor to gather feedback from the public on the welfare schemes. The teams reported back that though the schemes were well-received by the people, there was resentment among them due to poor delivery.
The government runs the Rythu Bandhu assistance and Rythu Bhima insurance and 24×7 free power to agriculture for farmers, Rs 1 per kg fine rice for government hostel students, Aasara pension, Kalyana Lakshmi, Shaadi Mubarak, sheep distribution, among others.
Lakhs of applications submitted through Mee Seva centres for inclusion of beneficiaries remain pending for years, sources said. The departments cite fund and staff crunch to undertake verification exercise to select beneficiaries.
None of the departments in any district was said to be meeting deadlines to deliver the welfare schemes, it was found. The performance was uneven across districts.
It was found that there was no coordination between finance and other departments in release and utilisation of funds. The departments were resorting to blame game for the lapses and not taking measures to streamline the implementation.
In the latest instance, the government released Rythu Bandhu funds after a delay Thursday. But it happened after BJP Telangana president Bandi Sanjay Kumar and TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy threatened to launch state-wide agitations on Wednesday if funds are not released immediately.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar initiated department-wise meetings to review the implementation of welfare schemes for three days starting Thursday. He will submit a report to the CM on the outcome of these meetings and the steps needed to keep welfare schemes on the fast-track mode.
All secretaries were asked to submit full details on welfare schemes being implemented by their departments, the number of beneficiaries, funds required, sanctioned and spent.
The CM is expected to hold a full-fledged review to fast track welfare schemes once the Chief Secretary submits his report after his meetings with all departments conclude.