Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, speaking at the launch of Congress guarantees of subsidised LPG cylinders and free power scheme, said that the government will, in due course, cover more than 40 lakh beneficiaries currently identified for the schemes. Bhatti holds the finance and energy portfolios. He was accompanied by civil supplies minister N. Uttam Kumar Reddy at the Secretariat on Tuesday. 

They said that currently 40 lakh beneficiaries were identified for the Rs 500-cylinder scheme and 42.07 lakh for the free power scheme, on the basis of ration cards, and that the Congress will issue new ration cards to eligible people, simultaneously extending these benefits to them. Bhatti said that eligible beneficiaries will get ‘zero bills’ in March if their power consumption in February is less than 200 units. “Some BRS leaders are spreading false propaganda that there will be delay in implementation of Six Guarantees… This is totally false. People will enjoy the benefits of these schemes with immediate effect,” Bhatti


He said the Congress government is slowly overcoming the financial crisis created by the previous BRS government by maintaining financial discipline. “The seriousness of the financial situation can be gauged from the fact that the previous government resorted to overdrafts for paying salaries to the employees. We are paying salaries to all employees in all districts on the first of every month,” he said.

Uttam Kumar also allayed apprehensions over the effective implementation of the guarantees, saying that elaborate preparation was taken up ahead of the launch of the schemes. He dismissed claims by BRS leaders that the Congress government would restrict the number of beneficiaries. “We have now launched Rs 500-cylinder scheme on a pilot basis under which beneficiaries will pay full amount during refill delivery and receive subsidy amount to their bank accounts later. We are in talks with oil marketing companies to supply cylinders by issuing bills for only `500 and get the balance from the government directly,” he said.

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