As per a report by The Indian Express, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh is allocating most of the government contracts to a company owned by Reddy family. Bharathi Cement Corporation Private Ltd, a company in which the Reddy family holds 49 per cent stake and a member of the family is the director, bagged most of the orders of purchase of cement from the state government.
The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government purchased 2,28,370.14 metric tonnes of cement from the Reddy family-owned company between April 2020 and January 18, 2021. The family holds 49 per cent stake in the company while the rest is owned by Vicat, a French multinational company which deals in construction material. The Reddy family and the French company are minting millions through government orders for cement.
While Bharathi Cement Corporation bagged 14 per cent of the total order made by the Andhra Pradesh government, while another company named India Cements Limited which earlier had invested in Bharathi Cement, bagged orders of 1,59,753.70 MT. “India Cements Ltd received the second-highest purchase orders of 1,59,753.70 MT, which is about 30 per cent less than Bharathi Cements. The India Cements had investments of Rs 95.32 crore in Bharathi Cement and had sold it the same year Vicat acquired 51 per cent in Bharathi,” reads the Indian Express report by Sreenivas Janyala, an Andhra based reporter.
Jagan considers public money his personal money and uses it however he wishes. Earlier Reddy had come under fire for an extravagant state expenditure over a family tour to Jerusalem in Israel. The Andhra Pradesh government released funds to the tune of Rs 22.52 lakh on the Chief Minister’s security on the four-day-long visit.
The general administration department issued the order for releasing this hefty amount to Triple S. Tours and Travels, Israel, to make the security arrangements. It must be noted that an order issued earlier on July 26, had mentioned that Jagan’s visit was purely personal and he would bear the expenditure of the personal trip. Another order issued on the same day, permitted Sivaraj Senthil Kumar, Superintendent of Police, to visit Jerusalem in advance from July 29.
The rampant corruption in the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in the last one and a half years has put Andhra Pradesh on the verge of bankruptcy. A recent CAG report pointed out that the debt level of the Andhra government rose exponentially in the last few years. The Jagan government borrowed 1.5 lakh crore rupees in the last 20 months, taking the total debt to almost 3.73 lakh crore rupees. Reddy has destroyed the reputation of the state as a fiscally responsible and industrialised state, and the state has been making backward progress under his rule.