ANDHRA PRADESH

Action plan to help one crore people in drought-hit areas

HYDERABAD May 22. As part of the efforts to provide relief to the people in drought-affected areas, the Government is contemplating taking up an action plan comprising several welfare schemes for helping 1 crore affected people in the State.

According to the tentative action plan prepared for the purpose, it is proposed to distribute house sites to 10 lakh eligible beneficiaries and pucca houses to another five lakh people. New ration cards would be issued to 10 lakh eligible beneficiaries and gas connections under the Deepam scheme would be provided to another 10 lakh people. In addition, the Government is contemplating providing sanitary latrines to 35 lakh beneficiaries, while 20 lakh other beneficiaries are expected to get economic benefits under various schemes. Besides, it is also proposed to give pensions and other benefits to 10 lakh more people.

Disclosing this while addressing participants at the conference of heads of departments to review the annual performance on Thursday, the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, directed the officials of the departments concerned to prepare short-term strategies on welfare and long-term plans for development to achieve sustainable development in the long run. While the Government is concentrating on development, it is also cutting down unproductive expenditure to ensure availability of funds for welfare schemes, he said.

Reviewing the performance achieved by the State during the past few years in various parameters like literacy, agriculture, health, infrastructure and investment, the Chief Minister expressed satisfaction that despite initial apprehensions among the official machinery, the performance indicator system was yielding fruitful results.

This ensured that the State got the "Fastest Mover'' award at the national level following a survey conducted by India Today recently.

``We could achieve significant progress in the last few years as we tried to give a new direction to administration. The steps taken by Andhra Pradesh have created healthy competition among the States as they realised the need to assess their performance based on different indicators,'' he said. While the Government is concentrating on good governance, efforts are being made by those opposing reforms to create crises in different sectors. However, with the sustained efforts of the Government, politics defused from development and the crisis makers has lost public support for their programmes, he said.

The Chief Minister said that efforts were made to augment the resources within the State as well as mobilise funds from national and international agencies including the World Bank to create the necessary infrastructure to boost the rural economy. "This could be achieved because of the sustained efforts of the administrative machinery. The policies implemented by the State Government in the municipal bodies have already started paying rich dividends and the Government is now concentrating on extending the performance indicator system to district and mandal levels wherein measures can be initiated to check the problematic areas,'' he said.

According to him, an assessment of district-wise performance indicators showed that Rangareddy district topped the list in performance in all sectors followed by East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Khammam and Vizianagaram, while Medak, Mahboobnagar, Krishna, Anantapur and Prakasam stood at the bottom.

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