The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to do away with about 3500 old Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses, availing a term loan of Rs. 1,000 crore to purchase new buses. The announcement was made by Information and Public Relations (I&PR) Minister Perni Venkataramaiah. The Andhra Pradesh cabinet meeting, on Wednesday, with CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy presiding over it, witnessed the review and approval of major welfare schemes in the State.
As of now, the APSRTC operates over 3500 buses, which have covered more than 10 lakh km on road. The Corporation presently holds 11,920 buses in its cavalry. A term loan of Rs. 1,000 crore will be taken to purchase new buses.
Reportedly, the government also plans to purchase 1,000 electric buses in a phased manner and 300 electric buses as part of Central Government’s (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) (FAME)-2 scheme in a bid to curb the rising pollution levels in the state.
Apart from this proposal, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet took many other decisions during the meeting. The meeting focussed on the steps that need to be taken to fulfil the election promises and also to boost the State exchequer.
Apart from the decision to replace the old APSRTC buses, a few other decisions made in the cabinet meeting include: The mid-day meal workers’ honorarium has been hiked from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000, benefitting 88,296 workers. Departmental secretaries of the State can now sue media houses for any baseless reports against the government. Fishermen of the State will be provided with Rs. 10,000 as financial compensation for the ban on fishing in the sea, which lasted from 15 April 2019 to 14 June 2019. The borrowing limit of the Civil Supplies Department has been lifted by Rs. 2,000 crores. In order to bail out the debt-ridden Discoms, the State government has approved the proposal of AP Power Finance Corporation raising Rs. 4,741 crore through bonds.