VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday released Rs 10,000 in financial aid for all auto/taxi drivers with their own vehicles under the YSR Vahanamitra scheme, four months in advance to help them tide over the COVID-19 crisis.
A total of Rs 262.49 crore was disbursed benefiting 2.62 lakh driver-cum owners. The amount was directly credited to the unencumbered accounts of the beneficiaries, with just one click on the laptop by the Chief Minister.
Addressing the beneficiaries of the scheme through video conference, the Chief Minister said the aid is being provided for the second time to help the drivers-cum-owners of autos and taxis.
“All of you got self-employed by operating taxis and autos to support your families, but have faced problems during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 crisis, as you could not operate your vehicles and earn to make ends meet. Today, our government is extending the promised aid four months in advance to help you all deal with the situation,” he said.
Pointing out that, as promised in the election manifesto, he launched YSR Vahanamitra on October 4, Jagan said he has advanced the disbursement of the aid to extend relief to the families of auto and taxi drivers who are suffering due to the crisis.
On the occasion, he recalled that in May 2018 during his Padayatra, he made a promise to help auto drivers and taxi drivers with their own vehicles in paying for renewal of their fitness certificates, which amounts to Rs 10,000.
“In every district, I had visited during Padayatra, my brothers operating autos and taxis to eke out livelihood had explained their problems. They said every year they have to renew fitness certificates, for that they have to do repairs and if there is any delay, they have to pay a penalty. I made a promise and when I became Chief Minister, I fulfilled it,” he explained.
The Chief Minister said last year Rs 10,000 was credited to each of 2,36,334 beneficiaries in their unencumbered bank accounts. A total of Rs 236 crore were spent. “Today, the number increased to 2,62,495 crore, i.e. another 37,754 beneficiaries were added. Among them 25,859 are new applications and 11,595 are transferred applications,” he said
Among the 2.62 lakh beneficiaries, 61,395 are SCs, 10,049 are STs, 1,17,096 are BCs, 28,118 are minorities, 29,643 are Kapus and rest are others. “If any eligible persons do not get the amount, they do not need to worry. They can apply as per eligibility criteria or register themselves on the Spandana website and they will be extended aid by July 4. Our policy is that no one, even if they have not voted for us, should be left out and the schemes should be implemented in transparent, corruption free and unbiased manner,” he said.
The Chief Minister said to extend helping hand to people, the state government has come out with a calendar on when to conduct which programme. Financial aid to Nayeebrahmins, Rajaks, and tailors will be extended on June 10, weavers under Nethana Nestham on June 17, Kapu Nestham on June 24, while the second tranche of industrial incentive dues to MSMEs will be extended on June 29.
Jagan urged the beneficiaries to use the money credited to their bank accounts for paying insurance and renewing fitness certificates. He requested them to follow traffic rules and not to resort to drunken driving. Later he interacted with the beneficiaries.