For the third straight year, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday credited Rs 10,000 financial assistance each to 2.48 lakh eligible autorickshaw and taxi drivers of the state as part of the YSR Vahana Mitra scheme.
The total aid amounted to Rs 248 crore, even as Reddy said that the state would chip in to pay for the recurring expenses such as insurance, vehicle maintenance and for procuring fitness certificates.
Vahana Mitra aid was a promise made by the Chief Minister during his 3,648-km long ‘padayatra’ as an opposition leader before storming to power in 2019.
“After witnessing the difficulties of the auto drivers, who hardly earn Rs 500 a day and have to pay a huge sum of Rs 10,000 towards insurance and other expenses required for getting a fitness certificate, the government came up with this welfare initiative,” said Reddy.
He said 84 per cent of these beneficiaries are from Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC) and minority communities.
According to the Chief Minister, the scheme not only benefits the drivers, but also helps the passengers experience a safe journey.
Under Vahana Mitra, Rs 759 crore has been credited until now, said Reddy, adding that no other state has a scheme like this.