A.P Cabinet decides to hold local body polls before March 15

The State Cabinet has decided to conduct local body elections before March 15. Reservations to be implemented in the local body elections, however, will depend on the Court judgement.

Disclosing the details of the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Information and Public Relations (I&PR) Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said the Cabinet has taken a few revolutionary decisions with regard to local body polls. Any candidate if found to be violating the election code will be disqualified. Also, a punishment of three years will be awarded. So far, the punishment is for a mere three to six months. If proved guilty even after winning the election, the person will be disqualified.

No remote governance

Moreover, Sarpanches will have to stay put in their respective villages and remote governance will not be permitted. “The Sarpanches should be available to the people at Panchayat offices every day,” Mr. Nani said adding, “The Panchayat Raj Act etc will be amended suitably.”

Another major decision is to reserve the Sarpanch, MPP and ZPTC posts to tribals in scheduled areas. The other castes can contest for ward member and MPTC posts, he said, adding, the elections will be completed in 13 to 15 days (from the date of notification to elections).”

Monitor agri education

Mr. Nani said the Cabinet has decided to establish AP State Financial Services Limited (APSFSL), a non-banking finance corporation, under the Finance Department. Other finance departments can lodge their funds and earn interest on them. Also, an AP State Agriculture Council will be established on the lines of the Medical Council and the Higher education Council to monitor the standards, infrastructure, agricultural courses offered at agriculture colleges and universities, he said.

The Cabinet has a drafted a bill to establish a AP Green Energy Corporation. The genco will be permitted to establish a solar park to generate 10,000 MW solar power. It is estimated that ₹ 35,000 to ₹ 40,000 crore were required for this project. “The genco can sell power to the government at ₹ 3 per unit, while it is ₹ 7 per unit now. The government will utilise the the Central government financial assistance under existing schemes, the Minister said.


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