Newly elected Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy began his work promptly following his oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.
He approved the "six guarantees" that the Congress and its leaders including Rahul Gandhi had promised during the election campaign in Telangana.
On his first day, Revanth signed two files.
One was related to pre-election guarantees, while the other concerned the employment of T K Rajini, a differently abled woman.
Reddy had pledged her a job during his campaign in Achampet, Nagarkurnool district. Rajini has the freedom to choose her preferred district collector’s office for her job placement.
Prior to the commencement of the swearing-in ceremony, the barrier around Pragathi Bhavan, soon to be renamed Jyotiba Phule Praja Bhavan, was taken down - a fulfillment of a pledge made by Revanth during his campaign.
He had promised that a "people's government" would rule the state under Congress's leadership. Revanth plans to conduct regular public meetings at this location, with the first one slated for Friday.
It remains unclear whether Revanth will relocate from his current residence in Hyderabad's Jubilee Hills to the official Chief Minister's residence.
After taking oath, the CM took to X to share his thoughts.
“Congratulations to my fellow friends who have been appointed as ministers in the Telangana People’s Government. Let us dedicate ourselves to the aspirations of the immortals (martyrs), the aspirations of the people and the overall development of the state with collective efforts. Let’s keep the state at the top of the country in all fields,” he wrote in Telugu.
Later in the day, the newly appointed Chief Minister conducted his first cabinet meeting at the newly constructed Secretariat, during which he deliberated over portfolios, Indian Express reported.
The first Congress government in Telangana is expected to confront an immediate challenge, which is the implementation of its six guarantees.
These guarantees include providing Rs 2,500 to all women in the state, offering LPG cylinders at Rs 500 to eligible benificiaries, facilitating free bus travel for women, granting Rs 15,000 per acre annually to each farmer, including Rs 12,000 to each tenant farmer and agricultural worker, government jobs, providing a Rs 4,000 pension to eligible beneficiaries, and Rs 10 lakh medical insurance for all state residents.
The Congress has also pledged to provide Rs 5 lakh for the homeless poor under the Indiramma Housing scheme and a 250 square yard site for those who participated in the Telangana movement.
According to Lok Satta founder Jayaprakash Narayan, the Congress government in Telangana may need to allocate around 1.2 lakh crore annually to support various schemes, including those currently in place.
This is in addition to a requirement of 20,000 crore for a 2 lakh loan waiver scheme. The state's annual revenue and expenditure stand at about 1,72,000 crore, which includes its own tax revenue and funds from the central government, while the state budget is roughly 1.9 lakh crore, Narayan said, Times of India reported.
"If the entire budget goes towards welfare schemes and salaries and pensions, there will be absolutely no funds for taking capital expenditure such as infrastructure works like roads, bridges and big projects,” a former chief secretary was quoted as saying by ToI.
Some state corporations like TSRTC, which is already facing financial challenges, might need about 10,000 crore annually if free bus travel for women is implemented.
Additionally, power discoms would require 5,000 crore yearly for free power up to 200 units and other subsidies.
Some senior bureaucrats, who handled the finance department, told ToI that the government may have to go for more borrowings to fulfil the promises, but the state has already reached its Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management limits, which means it cannot take any further loans.
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