Hyderabad: In an attempt to strengthen its vote bank in the run-up to the 2019 elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government on Monday announced several schemes to lend a helping hand to artisans and the communities engaged in different traditional occupations. The annual budget for 2017-18, presented in the state assembly by Finance Minister E. Rajender, contained several proposals to this effect. The Finance Minister said these schemes will help revive the rural economy in the youngest state and thus contribute to overall growth. Under a major scheme for the development of sheep rearing, the government has decided to procure and distribute 84 lakh sheep over the next two years to four lakh Yadava families, traditionally dependent on sheep rearing.
It is proposed to distribute 20 female and one male sheep to each eligible family enrolled under a Sheep Development Cooperative Society at 75 per cent subsidy.
As Gangaputra, Bestha, Goondla, Bantu, Mudiraj/Tenugu and Boya communities are dependent on fisheries, the government has decided to give thrust to the sector which, it claimed, has good potential thanks to restorations of tanks.
The government will supply fish seedlings and fish rearing centres will be developed across the state.
The government will bear the expenses of fish rearing and other associated expenses. It will build retail markets for fish on a large scale.
Finance Minister Etela Rajender announced special assistance to Nayi Brahmins for establishing modern, cleaner and hygienic hair cutting saloons and to washermen for washing machines, driers and ironing-boxes. Dhobi Ghats are proposed to be constructed at tanks. He proposed Rs 500 crore for this scheme.
The government will also extend financial assistance and provide modern tools to artisans belonging to different communities like Vishwakarma, Avusula, Kammari, Kanchari, and Vadrangi. Help will also be provided to Gouds dependent on toddy-tapping and to those dependent on other traditional occupations.
In a move to help handloom weavers, the government will buy handloom textiles, provide subsidy on yarn and dyes and development. It will also take necessary steps to modernise the power looms and to improve their productivity.
A textile park at Warangal and an apparel park at Sircilla have also been proposed.
The Finance Minister proposed Rs 1,200 crore towards assistance for weavers.
The budget proposed Rs 1,000 crore for Most Backward Classes (MBCs) Corporation.
In another major move, the government has proposed to provide Rs 12,000 each to women undergoing institutional delivery in a government hospital. An additional Rs 1,000 each will be given to women giving birth to baby girls.
'KCR kit', named after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, will be provided for the newborn. The kit consists of 16 essential items needed for the baby for three months.
The amount proposed under this scheme is Rs 605 crore.
Spending over Rs 30,000 crore annually on welfare of various sections of society, Telangana already claims to be the number one state in the country in welfare programmes.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)