Red sandalwood is rare and smugglers in Andhra Pradesh have made crores of rupees by indulging in illegal trading of this precious commodity. Over the past few years, red sandalwood worth lakhs of crores of rupees has been exported to various countries from Chittoor district.
This had led to Chittoor district being in constant state of tension as there have been many instances of face-off between the police who try their best to grab the culprits and the smugglers who are coming up with unique ways to stay one step ahead of the police. Thanks to the support of some political biggies, this valuable asset of Indian people is being exported to international destinations without any major disruptions. And if the police ever manage to grab some of this sandalwood during raids, then it is left to rot in government godowns or in police stations.
So recently, when the government auctioned some sandalwood that was still usable, it managed to make Rs 991 crores. It is a known fact that the Andhra Pradesh government has announced online that it would be auctioning 3615 metric tones of red sandalwood. In fact, the government had very high hopes to make lots of money from the sale of red sandalwood. Of course, leaving estimations apart, Rs 991 crores is no small amount.
But the Chandra Babu government had counted the money generated from the sale of red sandalwood as additional income. It is a known fact that Andhra Pradesh was formed with a deficit budget and presently any income matters to its exchequer.
When Babu’s government was faced with the question of how they would facilitate loan waivers, they said that sale of red sandalwood would help them secure the necessary monies. But how far will the Rs 991 crores help Andhra Pradesh government to deal with deficit budget remains to be seen.