VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday released Rs 10,000 financial aid to 2.62 lakh auto-taxi drivers under the YSR Vahana Mitra scheme four months in advance to help them tide over the coronavirus crisis. A total of Rs 262.49 crore was disbursed.
The amount was directly credited to the unencumbered accounts of beneficiaries, with just one click in a laptop by the Chief Minister.
Addressing the beneficiaries through a video conference, the Chief Minister said the aid was provided for the second time, to help the drivers-cum-owners of autos and taxies.
“All of you are self-employed by operating taxies and autos to support your families, but faced problems during the lockdown as you could not operate your vehicles. Today, our government is extending the promised aid four months in advance to help you all deal with the situation,” Jagan maintained.
The YSR Vahana Mitra scheme was launched on October 4, 2019 with an aim to provide an annual allowance of Rs 10,000 to auto and taxi drivers to meet insurance premium, licence fees and other recurring expenses.
On the occasion, Jagan recalled that in May 2018 during his padayatra, he made a promise to help the auto and taxi drivers having own vehicles in paying for renewal of fitness certificates, which amounts to Rs 10,000.
“Every district I visited during the padayatra, my brothers operating autos and taxis to eke out a living 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 penalty. I made a promise and when I became Chief Minister, I fulfilled it,” Jagan 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 was spent last year. “Today, the number increased to 2,62,495. That is, another 37,754 beneficiaries were added and 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 STs, 1,17,096 BCs, 28,118 minorities, 29,643 Kapus and the rest others.
“If any eligible did 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 the financial aid by July 4. Our policy is that no eligible, even if they have not voted for us, should not be left out and the schemes should be implemented in transparent, corruption-free and unbiased manner,” Jagan said.
The Chief Minister said to extend a helping hand to people, the State government had come up with a calendar on the implementation of schemes. Financial aid to Nayeebrahmins, Rajakas and tailors will be extended on June 10, for weavers under Nethanna Nestham on June 17, Kapu Nestham on June 24, extension of the second tranche of industrial incentive dues to MSMEs on June 29.Jagan urged the beneficiaries to use the money credited to their bank accounts for paying insurance and renewing fitness certificate. He requested them to follow traffic rules and not to resort to drunken driving. Later, he interacted with some of the beneficiaries.
Lending a helping hand
Rs 262.49 cr spent on the scheme this year
37,754 new beneficiaries (25,859 new applications and 11,595 transferred applications)