The Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has done more for the people of the Backward Classes than even the late former Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs, according to the Chairman of the D. Devaraja Urs Backward Classes Development Corporation, Ashok Katve.

Crediting Devaraj Urs for championing the cause of the Backward Classes in the State, Mr. Katve said, “Even Mr. Urs could not do as much as Mr. Yeddyurappa has done for the downtrodden.” Mr. Katve told presspersons here on Saturday that the BJP Government led by Mr. Yeddyurappa has done more for the backward classes than any other Government in the last six decades.

Mr. Katve said that the State Government had released Rs. 70 crore during the previous financial year as compared to Rs. 144 crore this year for the uplift of the Backward Classes. He said, “Last year, 50,000 people benefited from the schemes of this corporation but this year, 1.7 lakh people will be benefitted from our projects”.

The Dakshina Kannada, Mr. Katve informed, has received Rs. 4.32 crore for the development of Backward Classes as compared to Rs. 2 crore the previous year. Under the Ganga Kalyan Yojana, 2,118 bore-wells have been sunk this year as compared to 1,750 the previous year. As on March 31, 2009, 241 wells were sunk in the district and an additional 87 wells would be added this year.

The corporation was focussing on the rehabilitation of persons rendered jobless by the ban on production of arrack in the State. “The Centre has released Rs. 20 crore for this purpose and the State Government will spend another Rs. 8 crore as part of a composite package,” he said. Under this package, people who were rendered jobless owing to the ban on production and sale of arrack could avail loans between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 at the rate of 4 per cent interest to start their own business.

The traditional craftsmen such as blacksmiths, tailors and carpenters can also avail development loans of Rs. 10,000 from the corporation. The beneficiaries would be expected to repay only Rs. 5,000. The district has received Rs. 2 crore for this scheme, he added.

Under the Arivu scheme, students from the Backward Classes would be given education loan of Rs. 70,000 for their postgraduate studies. The Government has released Rs. 9.5 lakhs to the district to implement the scheme and till date 38 students have benefited.

Until last year, the Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat in each of the districts used to select the beneficiaries for all schemes of the corporation, Mr. Katve said. “But that has changed now and the responsibility of selection has been transferred to the local MLA in each taluk,” he said.

Asked about the plans of the corporation to elevate the social status of the Backward Classes and castes, he said, “That will happen automatically once financial prosperity enters their lives.”