The State Government is expected to bring about radical changes in the implementation of social security measures to ensure that the benefits reach the target groups and simultaneously enable a higher degree of transparency and accountability in the administration.
Sources close to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told The Hindu here on Friday that the changes are expected to be announced in the ensuing budget to be presented to the Legislative Assembly in the first week of March. The Government is spending nearly Rs. 2,000 crore a year on a variety of welfare schemes and most of the schemes are classified as poverty alleviation measures.
The Chief Minister plans to conduct a survey of the beneficiaries of various schemes and bring about changes in the schemes, if need be. The mammoth survey will be outsourced as there are nearly 40 lakh beneficiaries of the various schemes. Inputs will come from the Department of Planning and Statistics on the nature of information to be gathered from the beneficiaries. Based on the survey findings, the Government is planning to either strengthen the welfare schemes or scrap some of those that are wasteful.
In the past 18 months, the Government has introduced the Arogya Bhagya (health scheme), Sandhya Suraksha (for the senior citizens) and Bhagyalakshmi (for the benefit of the girl child), among other schemes. This also includes a scheme for milk producers who are paid an incentive of Rs. 2 a litre of milk, that costs the government Rs. 250 crore a year. The Chief Minister is keen on ensuring a better interface between the beneficiaries and officials to check corruption.