Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday announced several decisions covering various sectors including finance, agriculture, public transport, commercial activity and State Formation Day celebrations.

Following a series of meetings at Pragathi Bhavan here, the State government decided to permit all shops except malls in Hyderabad to open from Thursday, besides exempting TSRTC bus services in the State from night curfew restrictions with immediate effect. The government also decided to allow district bus services to terminate at Imlibun bus stand in addition to Jubilee bus stand.

The government decided to allow all shops to open in the city since the earlier decision on allowing only alternate shops to resume business resulted in crowding. Stating that there was no cause for panic on account of coronavirus, the Chief Minister said the spread of the virus was not on an alarming scale even after relaxation in the lockdown restrictions. He, however, advised people and officials to remain vigilant and follow all the guidelines issued by the government.

Stressing on the need to maintain austerity in expenditure, Chandrashekhar Rao said the State’s revenue generation had nosedived drastically, and this coupled with the Centre’s reluctance to come to the rescue of the State, had resulted in the treasury reaching near empty levels which meant no payments or works could be taken up.

While Aasara pensions would continue to be paid and the 12 kg free rice per person will continue to be given to white ration card holders in the State, the Rs 1,500 one-time assistance paid per family holding white ration cards across the State will be stopped from June since people would be getting back to work or could find jobs following relaxations in the lockdown norms, he said.

Pointing out that the income from transport, registration and other departments was not something to write about, Chandrashekhar Rao said the State will have to make do with whatever meagre income it was generating. “The State government has to pay debt installments to the tune of Rs 37,400 crore per year. These installments have to be paid every month without fail since the Centre has not said anything to the Telangana’s request for rescheduling the loans,” he said, adding that subsequently, the State was left with no choice but to pay the installments.

Given the grim scenario, Chandrashekhar Rao also announced that the State Formation Day on June 2 will be a low-key affair. Barring homage to Telangana martyrs and hoisting of national flag, there would be no celebrations across the State this time around.

On the agriculture front, with Vaanakalam season fast approaching, the Chief Minister instructed the officials concerned to immediately advice farmers as to what crops should be cultivated in which cluster as per the regulatory farm policy being implemented in the State. Seeds for the crops suggested by the government should be kept ready and available in the villages by Friday night, he asserted.

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