The Muzrai Department is keen on increasing tastik (maintenance grant) to archaks (priests) of Muzrai temples in the State from the present Rs.1,000 to Rs. 2,000 a month.
Speaking to presspersons on Thursday, Minister for Muzrai and Small-scale Industries Prakash B. Hukkeri said the proposal will be placed before Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during the pre-budget discussion.
Priests in most of the temples are finding it difficult to perform poojas with the meagre grant of Rs.1,000, as the cost of pooja items have been increasing. While the archaks are demanding Rs. 5,000 a month, the department is convinced that there should be an increase of Rs. 1,000 at least, he said.
There is also a proposal to increase the grants under Aradhana scheme to Rs. 20 lakh. The allocation would be utilised for renovation of temples that are in a dilapidated condition.
A proposal to create accommodation in Pandharpur and Srisailam for pilgrims from Karnataka is also being proposed. The department will seek an allocation of Rs.15 crore for the purpose. “We will ask for additional funds in the supplementary budget,” he said.
In regard to the small-scale industries sector, Mr. Hukkeri said the department had appealed to the Centre to increase subsidy being given for building capital assets from 10 per cent to at least 20 per cent. “The State government is offering subsidy of 15 per cent,” he said.