The Andhra Pradesh government will be bringing in a ban on online gambling by making necessary amendments, the State Cabinet decided on Thursday. The Cabinet has also given its nod for implementing the decision to provide free power supply to farmers through direct cash transfer to their bank accounts to pay their power bills.
Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah said that online gambling will be banned and amendments will be brought in to the State Gaming Act, 1974. The Minister said that for a first-time offender, organizers of online gambling would get a jail term of one year along with a fine, while the jail term up to two years with a fine if offenders participate repeatedly. Those playing online games will be sentenced to six months in jail.
New schemes for the betterment of the state:
While the other new scheme is to provide electricity for the farmers free of cost and the money would be directly transferred to their bank accounts. The state government will be spending Rs 1,700 crore for strengthening the electricity feeders and Rs 8,300 crore per annum towards this scheme.
The Andhra Pradesh government has accused TDP, which was in the earlier government, of neglecting the farmers. “During the previous TDP term, only 40 percent of feeders were working. We have brought it up to 89 percent and the remaining gap will be filled by this Rabi season. So far, 18 lakh power connections are there in the state and all connections of farmers will be regularized,” Perni Venkataramaiah said.
He added that a post of Divisional Development Officer will be created for better functioning of village secretariats.
The Cabinet on Thursday also gave in-principle approval for constructing two barrages downstream to Prakasam barrage, each with a holding capacity of 3 TMC. Penamaluru and Mangalagiri will have the first one in between with an estimated budget of Rs 1,215 Crore and the second one between Mopidevi and Repalle with an expenditure of Rs 1,273 Crore, the government has said. The Cabinet also approved various irrigation projects, including Babu Jagjivan Ram Uttharandhra Sujala Sravanthi for irrigating 8 lakh acres in the North Andhra region, with a budget of Rs 15,389.80 crore, the minister said.
The Cabinet also agreed to construct the Varikapudisila lift irrigation project in the Palanadu region, at a budget of Rs 1,273 crore. As part of the Rayalaseema Drought Mitigation Project, the cabinet approved the works of 14 reservoirs and lift irrigation projects.
In order to boost aquaculture, the state has also decided to start a fisheries university in West Godavari district at a cost of Rs 300 crore in the next five years. The land has been allocated for setting up of two medical colleges, one in Bapatla on an area of 51.07 acres and one in Markapuram, where 41.97 acres has been allocated, he said.
The Cabinet also approved a government order (GO) for the establishment of AP State Development Corporation for planning and funding of State government’s welfare schemes like Nadu-Nedu, Cheyutha, Aasara, Rythu Bharosa. The state has also extended the ban on Maoist Party and its frontal organizations by one year.