Andhra Pradesh to have NSG-type assault force
Proposal on elite outfit mooted by YSR at Cabinet meeting
To be called State Security Guards
Risk from within A.P., along coastline
Waking up to the vulnerability to Mumbai-type terror attacks, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to raise a new security force in the Police Department on the lines of the National Security Guards (NSG).
The State Security Guards (SSG), as it will be called, will be similar to the NSG in terms of high benchmarks for recruitment and training.
This proposal to constitute the elite outfit was mooted at a Cabinet meeting here on Saturday by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy as the State was exposed to risk along its long coastline and within. He was impressed by the professional work of the NSG commandos in neutralising the terrorists in Mumbai.
The Cabinet constituted a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to work out the modalities of the SSG which would be headed by a DIG-rank officer and would work under the overall control of the head of Greyhounds, the anti-naxalite outfit. There would be District and City guards consisting of 100 commandos each. The committee would also examine the various decisions taken on police revamp but not implemented, Information Minister A. Ramnarayan Reddy told reporters.
The Cabinet also resolved to strengthen marine security by establishing one police station for every 50 km of the 960-km long coastline and equip them with speed boards, modern weapons and vehicles besides imparting marine training. A DIG-rank official will be in-charge of coastal security. The Minister clarified that the SSG would not be an alternative to OCTOPUS, set up in the wake of terror attacks in Hyderabad.
State to borrow Rs. 16,000 crore
Move necessitated due to dip in revenue from land sales
In a formal acknowledgment of its deteriorating financial health, the State government has resolved to amend the Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management Act (FRBM) to facilitate borrowing of a huge sum of Rs. 16,000 crore and bridge the revenue gap. The borrowing has become necessary as the revenue from land sales fell short by Rs. 8,500 crore from the Rs. 12,000-crore target projected in the budget, Information Minister A. Ramnarayan Reddy told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet here on Saturday. Disclosing that the amending Bill would be introduced in the forthcoming Assembly session, he maintained that the borrowing would not cause any dent in the budget.
Andhra Pradesh, like other States, was entitled to raise loans up to certain limit under FRBM but it did not use this facility for the past four-and-half years as its economy was healthy. The State, indeed, achieved the benchmarks prescribed by the 12th Finance Commission for three years now in a row.
The borrowing would be made now to boost public expenditure in the face of the global economic slowdown. Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy discussed the issue with the Prime Minister during his recent rip to Delhi, he said. The Cabinet sanctioned 34 posts required for setting up a separate ITDA for the tribals in plains.
It approved the draft Bill to introduce a legislation replacing an ordinance promulgated for extension of the period of ban on no-trust move against Mayors and Municipal Chairmen, to four years from three.
YSR calls for restraint
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has exhorted people of all faiths to observe restraint in the light of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai and maintain unity to counter such threats.
Addressing the Youth Congress leaders and activists who conducted a rally “youth against terror” to protest against the terrorist attacks on Mumbai here on Saturday, Dr. Reddy said efforts of such elements to terrorise the people of India would not materialise.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India conducted a blood donation camp to help the victims of the Mumbai attacks.
CPI State secretary K. Narayana launched the camp by donating blood himself.
YSR opens revamped Press Club
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday inaugurated renovated premises of the Press Club here. The club was done up at a cost of over Rs.20 lakh.
The Chief Minister presented certificates and cash rewards to the children of Press Club members who scored more than 75 per cent in Intermediate, SSC and seventh class examinations.
Andhra Pradesh Press Academy Chairman D. Amar, Indian Journalists Union secretary general K. Sreenivas Reddy, R. Shailesh Reddy, president, V.J.M Diwakar, vice-president and R. Ravikanth Reddy, secretary of the Press Club were present.