Jagan Diverting Temple Funds to Amma Vodi?

August 13, 2020

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Andhra Pradesh unit president Kanna Lakshminarayana has expressed concern over the reports of the diversion of endowment department funds by the YSR Congress party government in the state to meet the expenditure being incurred on Amma Vodi scheme.

Kanna wrote a letter to this effect to YSRC president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday.

Under the Amma Vodi scheme, the Jagan government proposed to directly transfer an amount of Rs 15,000 into the accounts of women enrolled for the same, as an incentive for sending their children to schools, both government and private.

The scheme would cover 42,12,186 mothers to benefit 81,72,224 children studying from Class 1 to 12 with effect from 2019-20. An amount of Rs 6,455 crores has been allocated by the government in the budget.

However, instead of spending the budgetary allocations, the Jagan government has sought to divert funds from Common Good Fund of the Endowments Department to fund Amma Vodi scheme.

“This is highly objectionable. The funds of the Common Good Fund of the department, which was created from the donations made by devotees visiting temples, should be spent only on Hindu religious programmes,” he said and demanded that the government should take steps not to divert the temple funds for other activities.

It may be mentioned that in January, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, which manages the country’s richest temple of Lord Venkateshwara on Tirumala hills, enhanced its contribution to Andhra Pradesh government from Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 50 crore a year.

The Jagan government brought an amendment to this effect to AP Endowments Act. The enhanced amount would be contributed to the Common Good Fund (CGF), Endowments Administrative Fund (EAF) and Archaka Welfare Fund (AWF).