The MLAs in Andhra Pradesh were given iPhones on the last day of Budget session of the Assembly today. This comes a day after Speaker K Sivaprasad Rao informed the members to collect the high-end smartphones designed and marketed by US giant Apple Inc.
The distribution of iPhones has not come as a surprise as it has been a general practice to give electronic items like laptops to legislators during the Budget sessions. The move comes at a time when the state is facing a revenue deficit following bifurcation.
Finance Minister Y Ramakrishnudu, however, maintained that the Government has neither given phones to the members nor organised cultural programmes (also an old practice at the end of session) in view of the financial difficulties being faced by the state. In the Budget for 2015-16, the Finance Minister had put the estimated revenue deficit at Rs 7,300 crore and fiscal deficit at Rs 17,584 crore.