Karnataka Congress has termed as an “eyewash” the ₹1,111.82 crore package announced by the State and said the government’s performance was poor in the implementation of last year’s package announced for people impacted by the lockdown.
Nearly ₹800 crore announced in last year’s package was not given to farmers, weavers, construction workers and other poor sections impacted by COVID-19, said former Minister and MLA Krishna Byre Gowda. The State government had announced a package of around ₹2,300 crore last year.
Though the fiscal position of the State was better compared to other States, the BJP government did not provide relief to the people who needed it most during the crisis, he said, demanding a minimum compensation of ₹10,000 to the people impacted by the lockdown.
In last year’s package, out of ₹137 crore announced for horticultural farmers, only ₹58 crore was released in the package. For flower growers, the government promised ₹31 crore but released ₹15 crore, said Mr. Gowda.
The government said ₹5,000 compensation would be given to people of Savita Samaj. About 2.3 lakh members were expected to benefit, but only 55,466 beneficiaries received the relief in the package, he claimed.
Out of 7.75 lakh autorickshaw drivers, only 2.14 lakh drivers received the relief of ₹5,000 each. With regard to the construction workers, the Congress leader said that out of 16.48 lakh workers, only five lakh received the relief from the cess collected under the construction workers’ fund. It was decided that 1.25 lakh weavers would get the relief, but only 49,745 benefited in last year’s package, the former Minister said.
Another package likely soon
The State government is expected to announce shortly another batch of COVID-19 relief for the people impacted by the lockdown.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has instructed the Finance Department to work out a package plan for the benefit of people left out of the first package of ₹1,111.82 crore, sources said. Based on the Centre’s policy, the State government is also making a plan to rehabilitate orphaned children. Many children have been orphaned following the death of their parents because of COVID-19.
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