K’taka seeks Rs 11,489 cr from Centre for drought relief



Bangalore: Karnataka government has sought a Central assistance of Rs 11,489 crore on drought relief works, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said on Wednesday.

As per the suggestion of Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Jairam Ramesh who wanted the Government to submit two memorandum at the recently held meeting here on drought issues, the state has demanded Rs 7,672 crore to take up such works on the short-term and Rs 3,817 crore over the long-term.

The government submitted two separate and detailed memorandum to the Centre through State officials yesterday, he said.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme, organised by Press Club of Bangalore and Bangalore Reporters' Guild here, Shettar said he would also request the Centre to waive loans taken by the farmers from nationalised banks to the extent possible.

"Eighteen lakh farmers in the state have taken a total loan amount of Rs 19,000 crore. Our request is for a waiver to the extent possible by the nationalised banks", Shettar said.

He noted that the state has announced waiver of loans to the extent of Rs 25,000 taken by farmers from agri-cooperative societies, and the government has made a provision of Rs 3,500 crore in the budget for the purpose. "We will request the Centre to reimburse 75 per cent of this money".

Shettar said the Government had decided to develop 30 kms of rural roads in each Assembly segment this year. In addition, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has promised sanction for development of 2000 kms of roads in the State under the second phase of Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana with 75 per cent central assistance.

The Chief Minister said he believed in collective leadership in the government. He and Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka would undertake a review of various departments which had been distributed among themselves every week, while overall review would be made once in 15 days.

On who would lead the BJP in the elections, due in May next year, he said the party would take the decision.

Asked about delay in appointment of Karnataka Lokayukta, Shettar said it's because a case is pending before the Supreme Court. There is no malafide intention on the part of the government. "We desire that the process of appointment should begin as soon as possible".

PTI