Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government on Wednesday announced an estimated Rs 1,610 crore relief package for those who lost their income during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. It also announced a hike in excise duty on liquor by 11 per cent, which is in addition to the 6 per cent hike announced in the state budget.
Amid the lockdown, several distressed flower growers have destroyed their production due to the lack of demand. The government has estimated that farmers cultivated flowers in about 11,687 hectares and has decided to announce compensation of Rs 25, 000 per hectare limited to the maximum extent of one hectare for the flower growers who have suffered crop loss.
Moreover, the BJP-led state government has decided to announce a relief package for farmers who deals with vegetables and fruits, soon.
Not only this, the government has also announced compensation for self-employed like barbers and washer men (dhobis) both in urban and rural areas. The government has decided to provide one time compensation of Rs 5,000 each to benefit about 60,000 washer men and about 2, 30,000 barbers.
Over 7 lakh auto rickshaw and taxi drivers, who lost their incomes due to lockdown in place, will get one time compensation of Rs 5,000 each.
Meanwhile, MSMEs have also suffered huge production losses due to the lockdown. In order to support it, the government has decided to come to waive monthly fixed charges of electricity bills of MSMEs for two consecutive months. Moreover, payment of fixed charges in the electricity bills of the large industries will be deferred without penalty and interest for a period of two months.
In a big respite to electricity consumers of all categories, the government has announced incentive and concessions to the consumer who pays the bills in stipulated time. As per the government, there will be reduction in the interest on the amount for the delayed payment. Incentive will be provided to the consumers who pays the bills in advance and opportunity will be provided for the payment of balance bill amount in installments.
The electricity connection will not be disconnected until June 30, 2020 for the consumers who have not paid the balance amount of the bill.
Yediyurappa government has already announced Rs 109 crore ‘Weavers Loan Waiver’ scheme. Of which Rs 29 crore has been released during 2019-20. Remaining amount of Rs 80 crore will be released immediately, Yediyurappa said, adding that this will also help weavers to get fresh loans to continue their work. The reimbursement benefit will be provided for the weavers who have repaid their loan amount between 01-01-2019 to 31-03-2019.
Under ‘Weaver Samman Yojana’ (Nekarara Sammana Yojane) scheme, the state government will deposit Rs 2,000 directly to the bank account of each handloom weaver through DBT. This scheme is expected to benefit about 54,000 handloom weavers in Karnataka.
“There are 15.80 lakh registered building workers in the state. For them, the government has already transferred Rs 2,000 each to the bank account of 11.80 lakh building workers through DBT,” he said, adding action has already been initiated to transfer Rs 2,000 to the accounts of the remaining 4 lakh construction workers soon after verifying beneficiaries. The state government has also decided to transfer additional amount of Rs 3,000 each to these building workers.