Employees of the State government will be eligible for reimbursement of the expenditure for fertility treatment similar to the facility available for Central government employees.

Briefing presspersons after a meeting of the State Cabinet here on Thursday, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar said the reimbursement would not be more than Rs. 60,000. The fertility treatment is basically in-vitro fertilisation, which women undergo at certain specialised centres. There is, however, no clarity on whether the spouse of a government employee (male) is eligible.

However, there will also be an age restriction to undergo the treatment.

The Centre introduced the scheme in March wherein the employees undergoing the treatment (test tube baby) would be eligible for a reimbursement of not more than Rs. 65,000. Further, they should undergo the treatment at a government hospital or if it is in a private hospital, such an establishment should be registered with the government.

Road works

In another decision, the State government decided to undertake the second phase of the Chief Minister’s Small and Medium Town Development Programme at Rs. 1,738 crore. The expenditure would primarily be towards road and drainage works in areas coming under urban local bodies other than the city municipal corporations.

Mr. Kumar said 8 per cent of these funds would be utilised for road development and the remaining for drainage works.

The State government would direct the urban local bodies to invite tenders for the works immediately and of the total amount, Rs. 1,390 crore would be earmarked for the implementation of the programme right away.

A proposal of Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited to build 11 new bridges across rivers and rivulets in some of the districts at a cost of Rs. 91.74 crore had been approved.

The Cabinet approved the construction of a memorial to Swami Vivekananda at Belgaum at a cost of nearly Rs. 20 crore and the Union government has agreed to provide nearly 50 per cent of the cost.

President Pranab Mukherjee would be requested to lay the foundation for the memorial when he visits Belgaum in October to inaugurate the Suvarna Soudha.

Swami Vivekananda had stayed in Belgaum for four days in 1892.

The Cabinet approved the grant of a site measuring 80 feet by 150 feet to the Ramakrishna Math and Mission which would oversee the construction of the memorial. The site earmarked for the memorial is presently in possession of the Belgaum City Municipal Corporation.

Mr. Kumar said the Cabinet approved a proposal to set up a Safai Karmachari Commission similar to the one constituted by the Centre nearly 20 years ago.

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