Fact Check: Claim that AP spends Rs 342 cr per annum on salaries of pastors in East Godavari district alone is false
A claim is being widely circulated on social media claiming that the Andhra Pradesh government spends Rs 342 crore annually on the salaries of pastors in the East Godavari district alone.
Hyderabad: A claim is being widely circulated on social media claiming that the Andhra Pradesh government spends Rs 342 crore annually on the salaries of pastors in the East Godavari district alone.
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The claim is false.
In 2020, the government of Andhra Pradesh announced for the first time that it will provide
Rs 5,000 once as an honorarium to the pastors who are facing financial difficulties due to Covid-19. As part of this, the Andhra Pradesh government said that a total of Rs 14.9 crore was spent on 29,809 pastors at the rate of Rs 5,000 each. After that, the Andhra Pradesh government announced that they will provide Rs 5,000 every month to the pastors as part of the Minorities Action Plan 2021-22. However, the government has said that a survey will be conducted under the supervision of collectors.
We found the enrolment report released by the Andhra Pradesh government regarding the honorarium of the pastors. A total of 8,463 churches from the state were qualified for the honorarium in this survey led by the collectors. Only 518 churches from the East Godavari district were known to be eligible for the honorarium. In this order, paying Rs 5,000 per month to 518 churches will cost the government Rs 25.9 lakh every month and Rs 3.10 crore per annum.
According to a report in The Hindu, in August 2022, the Andhra Pradesh government released Rs 2.59 crore rupees towards payment of an honorarium of Rs. 5,000 each to 5,196 pastors in the state.
Hence, the claim is false.