The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to ban online gambling by making necessary amendments to the statute in order to prevent spread of unhealthy trends in the society.
A decision to this effect was taken at the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in Amaravati on Thursday.
Briefing media after the cabinet meeting, state information and public relations minister Perni Venkataramaiah said online gambling would be banned by amending the State Gaming Act, 1974.
Organisers of online gambling would get a jail term of one year along with a fine for the first-time offenders, while the jail term would go up to two years with fine for repeat offenders. Those playing online games will be sentenced for six months jail, he said.
The cabinet approved the revised policy of supplying agriculture power supply free of cost. Stating that farmers would continue to get power supply to their crops free of cost, he said there would be absolutely no burden on them whatsoever.
The government would make direct cash transfer into the accounts of farmers to the extent of power they consumed and they, in turn, could pay the power bills to the power distribution companies. “This gives a sense of feeling that the farmers have been paying for the power consumed and the Discoms will not go into the red. The pilot project will be introduced in Srikakulam and it will cover the entire state from April 2021,” he said.
The chief minister also clarified that not a single connection would be removed and all the illegal connections would be regularized. “The cost of smart meters would be borne by Discoms and the state government. In order to meet the demand, plans are afoot for developing 10,000 MW solar power plant and the power reforms will not affect the farmers,” Jagan said.
The cabinet also gave in-principle approval for constructing two barrages downstream to Prakasam barrage on Krishna river, each with a holding capacity of 3 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) at a total cost of nearly Rs 2,500 crore.
The cabinet approved other irrigation project Babu Jagjivan Ram Uttharandhra Sujala Sravanthi for irrigating eight lakh acres in North Andhra region, with a budget of Rs 1539 crore and Varikapudisila lift irrigation project in Palanadu region of Guntur at Rs 1273 crore. As part of Rayalaseema Drought Mitigation Project, the cabinet approved the works of 14 reservoirs and lift irrigation projects.
The cabinet also decided to extended the ban on Maoist Party and its frontal organizations by one year.