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Briefly

Shinde greets people on R-Day

HYDERABAD: The Governor, Sushil Kumar Shinde, has greeted people of the State on the 55th anniversary of the Republic.

In a message on Tuesday, he praised people of the country for maintaining and strengthening unity, broaden democracy and justifying the faith reposed by the founding fathers.

He recalled that people had constituted the Republic with a pledge to secure justice, liberty and equality to all citizens.

"Over the last 55 years we faced several trails and tribulations, triumphs and tragedies, successes and frustrations. Governing ourselves has never been smooth and easy. In these years we have created public institutions, given a framework for economic growth, educated our children and created a goal of scientific and technological manpower, which is unparalleled in any developing country. Our achievements are not just impressive, they are monumental".

Mr. Shinde said: "we will emerge as a great nation, economically and politically, and make the dream of Mahatma Gandhi a reality."

Homes for beggars

Hyderabad: The issue of beggars was in focus for the first time at the Cabinet meeting here on Tuesday. The meeting decided to establish homes for beggars in all municipalities involving Lions, Rotarians and other NGOs.

The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, later told reporters that instructions were issued to Collectors to offer land and buildings if any of these organisations came forward to set up and maintain the homes for beggars in municipalities.

"It will be a different sort of public-private partnership," he said, adding that it was the responsibility of the Government and society to care of beggars.

Changes to VAT

Hyderabad: The Cabinet, at its meeting here on Tuesday, adopted changes to certain provisions of the VAT to provide relaxation to traders.

The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, told reporters later that the meeting cleared a draft ordinance for these changes and it would be sent for the Governor's consent shortly.

Under these changes, the annual turnover of a trader, attracting turnover tax, would be increased to Rs. 5 lakhs from Rs. 3 lakhs as under the earlier Act which was annulled, and the turnover coming under VAT purview to Rs. 40 lakhs from Rs. 25 lakhs. The Chief Minister said nearly three lakh small traders would get relief because of the changes.

The Cabinet also cleared amendments to the Cooperative Act to empower the Government to nominate three persons on cooperatives -- one from minorities and the rest women. The Chief Minister said the amendments were sought in view of the elections to cooperatives shortly.

CPI meet at Nalgonda

KHAMMAM: The CPI State conference will be organised in Nalgonda from February 6, according to the party secretary, S. Sudhakar Redy.

Party leaders -- A.B. Bardhan and D. Raja - will attend the conference. A public meeting will also be held in Nalgonda on February 9.

Compensation for buses sought

Hyderabad: The APSRTC Transport Mazdoor Sangh has demanded that the loss incurred by the corporation due to burning of busses in the aftermath of the killing of the TDP MLA, Paritala Ravi, on Monday should be compensated by implementing the Revenue Recovery Act.

In a press release, the sangh questioned the political parties' action of burning and damaging RTC busses which provide inexpensive transport to common people. It appealed to political parties to spare RTC busses from damage as the corporation was already suffering losses.

Peace panel's demand

HYDERABAD: The Peace Initiative Committee on Tuesday demanded judicial inquiry into all the killings in Anantapur district, including that of the TDP MLA, Paritala Ravi.

Leaders of the committee in a statement issued here sought steps to keep politics free off criminals.

R.V.R. Chandrasekhara Rao, A.B.K. Prasad, Bojja Tharakam, Ghanta Chakrapani and V. Hanumanth Rao called upon the Government to find solutions to financial problems facing the State so that the issue of faction politics could be resolved. They said poverty was the root cause for the backwardness of Rayalaseema and the resultant factionism. The Government, they felt, was committing a bigger crime by encouraging poverty.

Meanwhile, the Community Party of India (Marxist Leninist-New Democrary) wanted the Government to come out with a comprehensive scheme to end faction feuds and people's problems.

Teachers put off stir

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Struggle Committee of Teachers' Organisations on Tuesday announced postponement of its siege of the Secretariat on February 7 following an assurance by the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The assurance pertains to the demands pressed by the organisation such as uniform service rules, inter-district transfers, promotions, issue of appointment orders to 2003 DSC candidates and not to press teachers to stay in their place of work, according to a press release.

Stamp papers destroyed

KURNOOL: The district Collector, Vikas Raj, and treasury officials destroyed non-judicial stamp papers worth Rs. 3.92 crores here on Monday as part of the measures of the Government to check the sale of fake stamps. Stamp papers above the denomination of Rs. 500 were destroyed. The District Revenue Officer, Venkatrami Reddy, the Treasury Officer, Mallyadri, and others were present.

Chloral hydrate seized

Sangareddy: The Medak excise sleuths seized 3,000 kg of raw chloral hydrate powder worth Rs. 10 lakhs on Monday night. The chemical, an active ingredient of fake toddy, was packed in 100 gunny bags of 30 kg each and stalked in a truck with a registration number of Maharashtra.

Basing on intelligence reports, excise officers from Sangareddy waited near Peddapur and intercepted the truck. Two persons in the truck escaped and vanished into the darkness.

Talking to newsmen on Tuesday, the Excise Superintendent, N. Sailaja, said this was the biggest haul of chloral hydrate so far in the district.

Quits APCC post

HYDERABAD: S. Indrasain Reddy on Tuesday resigned to the post of general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee following his appointment as Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation.

He submitted the resignation letter to the APCC president, K. Keshava Rao. A press release issued by the APCC stated that Mr. Reddy was the first office-bearer to put in his papers in line with the party's principle of one-man-one-past.

Dry weather forecast

Hyderabad: The North-East monsoon withdrew from Rayalaseema and the South Coastal Andhra districts on Tuesday while Hyderabad received a rainfall of 20 mm.

Weather was mainly dry in Telangana and dry over Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. The minimum temperature rose at one or two places in Coastal Andhra and changed a little in Telangana and Rayalaseema. The lowest night temperature for the 24-hour period ending Tuesday morning was recorded by Adilabad at 16 degree Celsius.

Dry weather will continue in the State on Wednesday.

Plea for power

NELLORE: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) functionaries in Bogole mandal have threatened to launch an agitation if power supply is not ensured for at least eight hours to farmers. They alleged on Tuesday that power was being supplied only for seven hours, that too in two unreliable phases, causing severe convenience. It may also cause harm to crops, they feared.

Paddy damaged

NELLORE: Paddy in more than 110 acres has been damaged in Old Bitragunta panchayat area of Bogole mandal due to untimely rain on Saturday and Sunday. Most of the affected farmers belong to weaker sections.

Aid for tsunami

victims

NELLORE: A donation drive for tsunami-affected people has been undertaken by teachers at Dakkili. They made an appeal for liberal contributions for the welfare of the victims. Students and teachers of Kottapalem high school have distributed clothes to the victims. Members of Junior NTR Youth Association have donated Rs. 1,841 while teachers and students of Mogallur ZP High School of Chejerla mandal contributed Rs. 1,200.

Seminars during

Cuddapotsavalu

CUDDAPAH: A series of seminars will be held from January 29 to 31, as part of `Cuddapotsavalu', the Collector, Jayesh Ranjan, said on Tuesday.

EMESCO Publishers would hold a book exhibition, he added.

Award for best

science exhibit

TIRUPATI: The science exhibit `Protective life with laser' by M. Swetha Keerthi of Little Angels High School, Tirupati, won the `best exhibit' prize in Andhra Pradesh at the Southern State Science Exhibition that concluded at Secunderabad on January 22. With this, the exhibit has secured a place at the national level, a release by the school said.

The Minister for Secondary Education, N. Rajyalakshmi, gave away the prize to Swetha Keerthi, who had received a prize for the same exhibit from the Information Minister, Md. Shabbir Ali, at a similar exhibition conducted in Ranga Reddy district earlier.

Ganja seized

NELLORE: Excise officials at Nellore seized 7.4 kg of ganja from two persons near RTC complex on Monday. The accused were said to be belonging to Tamil Nadu. At Sydapuram, three persons were taken into custody by police in a case relating to a land dispute.

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