The Karnataka Government has decided to provide Rs.6,000 each as annual grants (tastik) to 3,600 temples in the State to enable priests meet daily pooja expenses, Minister for Religious Endowments and Home Dr. V.S. Acharya said here on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters here, he said Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had taken the decision after learning that about 365 temples across the state receive grants as little as Rs.five to Rs.10 annually as tastik, he said, adding that a Government Order in this regard has already been issued.

“If the financial position permits, then there is a proposal to double the grant next year,” Mr. Acharya, who also holds the endowment portfolio said.

The state would spend Rs.6.41 crore in the next three to four years to modernise and strengthen the Fire Force Department, towards which the Centre has sanctioned Rs.5.31 crore as grants, he said.

Mr. Acharya said the Finance department has accorded approval to fill 1,854 vacancies in the department as against the request for 2,096 posts. The recruitment process would commence soon, he said.