Hyderabad, (Telangana) [India] Mar 22 (ANI): ?Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday announced measures for the welfare of Gouda community in the state, whose traditional livelihood depends on toddy-tapping.
Rao announced that "the pension being given to toddy tappers has been raised from Rs 200 to Rs 1000" and also "the ex-gratia amount" for death of tappers or permanent disability while tapping has been increased to Rs 5 Lakhs.
Previously for death due to tapping it was Rs 2 lakh and for permanent disability caused by it stood at Rs 0.50 lakh.
"So far only members of Toddy Tappers Co-operative societies were getting pension. The Government have taken a decision to extend the pension to TFT members from now onwards benefiting about 30000 families of Gouda Community," said Rao in a recently released statement.
There were arrears pending due to delayed payment of ex-gratia in the cases of death for three years before formation of Telangana State amounting to Rupees 6.38 crores, which were paid by the current Government.
According to Rao, "The Toddy tappers were badly neglected in the undivided state (of Andhra Pradesh) because people from the community "were not even allowed to live on their own" as "the Toddy Shops in Hyderabad were closed, to benefit the liquor lobby."
Rao also waived off tree tax arrears and tax which was being paid by tappers on the basis of trees.
Rao mentioned that despite the fact it is going to "cost Rs 16 crore burden, per year", to the Government keeping the welfare of the Gouda Community this step is taken.
The current government has allotted five acres of land and sanctioned Rs 5 Crore for construction of Gouda Bhavan, to showcase the glory of the Gouda Community and for the upliftment of Socio, Economic and Political status of the Community. (ANI)