Siddaramaiah's Rs 4,409.81-crore bonanza for poor



Bangalore: Acting swiftly on Congress' poll promises, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday announced Rs 4409.81-crore bonanza for the poor, SCs and STs, OBCs and minorities on the first day in office.

At a Cabinet meeting, Siddaramiah said it was decided to provide 30 kg of rice at Re one a month from July, benefiting 98.17 lakh people in the below poverty line category.

This would entail an additional burden of Rs 460 crore annually on the state exchequer.

The decision came minutes after the swearing in of Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister.

It was also decided to raise subsidy for milk producing farmers from Rs two to Rs four per litre, benefiting 7.5 lakh of them, with the government outgo estimated at Rs 496 crore per annum.

Subsidy for the poor for building houses in rural and urban areas would be raised from Rs 75,000 now to Rs 1.2 lakh under various schemes, including Indira Awas Yojna.

Siddaramaiah also announced one-time loan waiver (arrears and interest) availed by SCs and STs (Rs 349 crore), OBCs (Rs 514.26 crore) and minorities (Rs 362 crore) from government-run corporations.

Power connection would be restored under "Bhagya Jyothi" scheme for poor by waiving off their Rs 268 crore arrears, benefiting 20 lakh of them.

"All the relief announced today put together is to the tune of Rs 4,409.81 crore benefiting 1.38 crore people", the Chief Minister said, adding, his government would fulfill all the promises made in the manifesto in the next four years.

On how he proposed to raise resources as he said the state's finances were bad, he said efforts would be made to curb pilferage, cut wasteful expenditure, focus on additional resource mobilisation and improved tax compliance.

Siddaramaiah saw scope for such activities even as he stressed that state debt needs to be cut.

PTI