- Amount to be transferred to bank account immediately
- Artists, art groups, auto and taxi drivers get monetary aid
- 2,150 doctors to be recruited within three days
- Decision on lockdown extension on May 23
Bengaluru: Understanding the plight of workers belonging to various sectors due to imposition of COVID-induced total lockdown across Karnataka till May 24, the State Government today announced Rs. 1,250 crore special package which will benefit lakhs of people who have been hit by stranded economy.
Disclosing this at a news conference in Vidhana Soudha here this morning, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said several economic activities have been restricted to help in checking the spread of Coronavirus across the State. This has impacted the lives of lakhs of people. To provide them a succour, the Government, despite financial constraints, has announced the special package to help people in distress. Giving details, the CM said, flower growers who have suffered loss due to lockdown will get a relief of Rs. 10,000 per hectare. This is going to benefit 20,000 floriculturists and will cost Rs. 12.73 crore to State Treasury.
Similarly, vegetable and fruit growers, who too have suffered loss, will get compensation of Rs. 10,000 per hectare. This will help around 69,000 farmers and cost Rs. 69 crore to State exchequer. Registered drivers of autorickshaw, taxi, goods vehicle, maxi-cabs, having licence, will get Rs. 3,000 each. This will cost Rs. 63 crore for the Government.
For construction labourers, those who have registered with the Government body, will get Rs. 3,000 each as one time compensation. The Government will have to bear Rs. 494 crore for doing this.
With regard to workers in the unorganised sector like washermen, blacksmith, cobblers, tailors, weavers, goldsmith, who are about 3.04 lakh in State, Rs. 2,000 will be paid to each person as one time compensation. This will cause an expenditure of Rs. 60.89 crore to the Government. For around 2,20,000 road-side vendors, Rs. 2,000 will be given. This will cause a burden of Rs. 44 crore to the State Treasury.
For an estimated 16,095 artists and art groups, Rs. 2,000 will be given and this will cost Rs. 4.82 crore to treasury. The three months interest on loans borrowed by farmers and self-help groups from PLDs and LDBs worth Rs. 134.38 crore will be paid by the Government. This is going to benefit 4.25 lakh farmers. Besides, the payment of instalment by farmers which was due on May 1, 2020, has been extended up to July 31, 2021.
Under Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana, all BPL card holders will be distributed 5 kg rice free of cost for the months of May and June. This will benefit over 1.26 crore BPL card holders with a total of 4.34 crore beneficiaries and will cost Rs. 180 crore to State exchequer. Those who have applied for ration cards, but not got it yet, will also get 5 kg rice free of cost for the months of May and June. For APL card holders, food grains of 10kg will be distributed at Rs. 15 per kg. This will benefit an estimated 3.01 ration card holders in the State.
The CM said food will be provided free of cost at all Indira Canteens in urban areas and it is going to benefit 6 lakh people everyday. For the Government, it will cost Rs. 25 crore.
Cost of treatment
Yediyurappa said so far, the State Government has spent Rs. 956 crore on providing free treatment to over 2.06 lakh Corona positive patients during the first and second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government has made an advance payment of Rs. 1,000 crore to Covid vaccine companies to supply three crore vaccine vials for inoculating people in the age group of 18 to 45 years.
Apart from this, Rs. 50,000 will be released to each Gram Panchayat from State Disaster Management Fund for Covid management in villages. There are 6,000 Gram Pan-chayats in the State.
As many as 2,150 doctors will be recruited within three days, the CM said. Replying to a question, the CM said the monetary benefits announced today will be deposited in Bank accounts immediately and there will be no delay in payment. Last year, there was little delay due to technical glitches.
Yediyurappa said it was very difficult to say whether this will be the last special package as it is dependent on how pandemic will come down
Lockdown decision on May 23
On further extension of total lockdown beyond May 24, Chief Minister Yediyurappa said today’s meeting was only restricted to the special package and a decision on lock down extension will be taken only May 23.