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The year 2017 would remain as one in which several populist schemes were floated, with the financial burden crossing the 40,000-crore mark, a record of sorts for any state.

Distribution of sheep, extending salaries to priests, imams, sanctioning of hundreds of English medium residential schools for Muslims, BC, SC, ST, Rs 20 lakh overseas scholarship to pursue education abroad, giving away washing machines and dryers, 24x7 free power supply to agriculture, waiver of housing loans and electricity charges for poor were only a few among the sops doled out.

A major populist scheme, to extend Rs 8,000 per acre per year financial assistance to farmers, was also announced in 2017 but would come into force from May 2018. The government is bracing up to announce more sops in 2018, the crucial year before the elections in 2019.

The government in May 2017 enhanced financial assistance to Rs 75,116 from Rs 51,000 to perform the marriage of adolescent girls in Below-the-Poverty-Line families under Kalyana Laxmi and Shaadi Mubarak schemes.

Also in May, it announced a steep hike in mess charges for students from Class III to PG level, which imposed a burden of Rs 117 crore on the state exchequer.

In June 2017, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao launched a scheme for the Yadav/Kuruma community to distribute 1.5 crore sheep to nearly 35 lakh families at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore to encourage the revival of the rural economy.

In July, the government waived outstanding housing loan arrears of `3,920 crores to beneficiaries of the Indiramma housing scheme for weaker sections. The arrears had accumulated between 1983-84 and 2013-2014. In August, over 72 crore fingerlings were released in 24,000 tanks for fishermen community to encourage fisheries sector.

In September, salary hikes were announced for Anganwadi teachers, ayahs, IKP workers, constables, home guards, village revenue offices, village revenue assistants, contract lecturers, contract/outsourcing employees in other departments.

In October, the government set up the Most Backward Class Commission with Rs 1,000 crore corpus fund for the uplift of these sections. Under this, the government would provide Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh assistance to BC families that wanted to switch their sources of employment.

The assistance would be provided directly to the beneficiaries without linkages with banks. The scheme was aimed to benefit families from ancestral professions of washermen, hairdressers, tailors, goldsmiths, carpenters, potters, shepherds  Nayi Brahmins and Panchakarmas.

The CM announced that every year about 60,000 to 70,000 Most Backward Class families would get financial assistance.In November, the Chief Minister announced 24x7 free power supply to agriculture from January 1, 2018, which would cost around Rs 5,500 crore per year.

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