Andhra Pradesh

Assembly passes Bills on RTC merger, boards for pulses, millets

Perni Venkataramaiah

Perni Venkataramaiah  

Absorption of RTC will cost govt. ₹3,600 cr. per annum, says Minister

The State government tabled 18 Bills, including one each on millets board and pulses board, and absorption of RTC employees into government service, and they have been passed in the Assembly on Monday.

Stating the objectives of the Bill on the RTC employees, Transport Minister Perni Venkatramaiah (Nani) said there is a general prohibition on absorption of employees working in PSUs into public service under Act 14 of 1997 and therefore in the facts and circumstances relevant to the operations of the APSRTC and the decision of the government, a separate legislation is considered expedient to bring about the implementation of the policy. The expenditure on account of absorption of employees of the RTC in government service would be about ₹3,600 crore per annum towards pay, DA, HRA, allowances and incentives, gratuity, provision, leave encashment provision etc., he said.

Mr. Nani said that the committee headed by former IPS officer C. Anjaneya Reddy suggested various options, including absorption of the establishment of APSRTC into the government. The government has decided to create a new department by name Public Transport Department (PTD). The head of the PTD will be the ex-officio VC and MD of the RTC, he said.

Tabling the Bill on the millets board, Marketing Minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana said that the promotion of millet crop and industry has to be undertaken under mission mode for which a dedicated administrative set up is essential. Such a set up in the past hugely benefited crops such as tobacco, spices and coconut through their respective boards.

Millets in mid-day meal

Various States have been distributing millets such as bajra, jowar and ragi through the Public Distribution System (PDS) along with other cereals. Efforts are now being made to include the nutrient-rich smaller millets in the mid-day meal schemes in government and government-aided schools. The renewed focus on millets is seen fuelling a startup revolution and creating new jobs. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a millet board which will spearhead the expansion of millet crop and growth of millet industry from crop planning to marketing, he said.

Intervention needed

Referring to Bill on pulses board, Mr. Venkata Ramana said there were still many bottlenecks in pulse farming mainly due to the erratic pulse prices, non-inclusion of pulses in the PDS etc. Also, the farmers rarely get the MSP and they sell at the prevailing market prices. In an effort to make pulses more accessible to consumers and yet make it more remunerative to farmers, MSP for all major pulses was introduced. Still, the per capita availability and consumer prices remain low and high respectively. In order to address these challenges, there was an urgent need for the State to refocus attention towards pulses’ farming and enact policies that create an enabling environment for pulses farmers. It was necessary to establish a pulses board which will spearhead the expansion of pulses crop and pulse industry by planning from cropping stage to marketing stage, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:49:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/assembly-passes-bills-on-rtc-merger-boards-for-pulses-millets/article30323823.ece

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