Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday announced measures for the welfare of Gouda community in the state, whose traditional livelihood depends on toddy-tapping.The government has announced its resolve to allocate five-acres land and ₹5 crore for the construction of Goud (toddy tappers community) Bhavan. The decision to waive the tree tax would cost the exchequer ₹16 crore a year and the government had decided to absorb the burden.
The state government has enhanced the toddy tappers’ pension from the present Rs.200 to Rs.1000 a month. Announcing this in the assembly during a reply to the debate on budget, Chief Minister said that the decision has been taken on the humanitarian grounds. The pension which is being given only to the members of Toddy Tappers Co-operative societies till date will be now extend to all TFT members from now onwards benefiting about 30000 families of Gouda Community. “the ex-gratia amount” for death of tappers or permanent disability while tapping has been increased to Rs 5 Lakhs.
In addition to all the above, he also announced the waiver off all Tree Tax arrears pending till date though the decision would cost the exchequer upto Rs.16.00 Crores. Besides, the Government has also allotted 5 acres of land and sanctioned a sum of Rs.5.00 Crore to construction Gouda Bhavan, which will showcase the glory of the Gouda Community. “We hope this building will become a centre for Socio, Economic and Political upliftment of Gouda Community”, he declared.
Plantation of palm and date palm trees on the bunds of tanks, rivulets and rivers would be taken up in a big way in the coming days in coordination between the excise and forest departments, he said. “All Tree Tax arrears are waived off. Also the Tree Tax which is being paid by the tappers on the basis of trees, is totally waived. Even though this is going to cost Rs 16 crore burden per year to the government, keeping the welfare of the Goud community this step is taken,” Rao said.The government is allotting five acre of land and sanctioning Rs five crore for construction of Goud Bhavan, which will showcase the glory of the Community.