Karnataka to implement UPA's food security scheme

Bangalore, Aug 26 (IANS) Karnataka would soon implement the food security scheme of the UPA government once it is enacted despite its own programme for providing heavily-subsidised grain to 10 million poor families in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Monday.

"Though we are already distributing 30 kg rice for the about 10 million BPL (below poverty line) families at Re.1 per kg under the subsidised scheme since July 10, we will implement the central food security scheme after the bill is passed by parliament," he told reporters here.

Under the central government's food security scheme, the state will not only receive more quantity of foodgrains, but also get rice at Rs.3 per kg and wheat at Rs.2 per kg.

"As we have decided to distribute also 30kg of wheat per month at Re.1 per kg to BPL families in the central and northern regions of the state from Oct 2, foodgrains from the centre at subsidised rates will benefit the state exchequer and reduce buying additional quantity of rice and wheat from the open market at higher prices," Siddaramaiah said.

Interacting with media on the occasion of the Congress completing 100 days in office after the May 5 state legislative assembly election, he reiterated his government's commitment to implement all the programmes as promised in the party's poll manifesto and as proposed in the state budget for 2013-14.

He said all welfare schemes meant for the poor, farmers, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes and minorities would be taken up on priority by the respective ministries.

"Funds will be made available to the ministries concerned to implement all the welfare schemes for the needy. As we are committed to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, resource constraints will not be allowed to come in the way of serving the poor for the overall socio-economic development of the state," Siddaramaiah said.

Admitting that 100 days were too short a period to assess the state government's performance under the new dispensation, he said the direction in which the state was moving and progressing could be measured in terms of the decisions and actions it had taken during the last three months.

"As promised to the people of the state, we have initiated several developmental and welfare measures. Out of 160 promises made in our party's election Manifesto, we have fulfilled about 60 promises despite resource constraints," Siddaramaiah said.

Among the welfare schemes initiated are 'Manaswini' under which Rs.500 pension is given per month to unmarried women (spinsters) above 40 years and BPL women deserted by husbands and 'Mythri' under which Rs.500 is given to sexual minorities (transgenders).

"Pension adalats (courts) will be conducted at local body level in all the 30 districts across the state to resolve issues related to old age pension, widow pension and Bhagyalakshmi scheme for women," Siddaramaiah observed.

The state high power committee has cleared (Aug 22) 19 industrial projects with a combined investment of Rs.14,818 crore investments, which will create employment to about 70,000 people across the state.

"We are committed to provide equal opportunities to all sections of society with a thrust for the well being of the exploited weaker sections, including SCs, STs, BCs, minorities and women.Equality and social justice is the plank on which our government is functioning with the objective of building an egalitarian society," Siddaramaiah added.

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