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A member of the BJP from Gulbarga or Bidar may be inducted: Yediyurappa

StatementsState in sound financial position No dearth of funds for projects Kumaraswamy did not file false affidavit

GULBARGA: Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa indicated on Wednesday that the Ministry would be expanded in a week, and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party from Gulbarga or Bidar would be inducted.

Addressing a press conference during his first visit to the Gulbarga after taking over as Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Yediyurappa said the appointment of chairmen of boards and corporations would also be taken up.

Differing stands?

Asked whether the support extended by State unit of the BJP to the office-of-profit Bill was contrary to the stand taken by the party's national leadership, which opposed a similar Bill in Parliament, Mr. Yediyurappa said the party felt that the Union Government should bring in a comprehensive Bill.

He dismissed the allegation made by the Congress that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had filed a false affidavit on his assets and liabilities before the election authorities during the last Legislative Assembly polls.

On the statement of former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh that Mr. Yediyurappa would join the Janata Dal (Secular), the BJP leader said: "I did not expect Mr. Singh to make such an irresponsible statement. Till my death I will remain a member of the BJP."

He said the Government was committed to implementing the recommendations of the High-powered Committee for Redressal of Regional Imbalances.

Referring to the IT (information technology) Park sanctioned by the Centre in Gulbarga, he said the Government would provide infrastructure for the early establishment of the park. The new industrial policy, which would be announced in a week, would spell out plans for the development of backward areas, including Gulbarga and Bidar districts.

Finances

Mr. Yediyurappa, who holds the Finance portfolio, said the finances of the State were sound as mobilisation of resources in the first quarter of the current financial year had exceeded targets.

He said there was no dearth of funds for projects. The Government hoped that the VAT (value-added tax) collection target would be surpassed, he added.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the Centre had compensated for the loss in revenue caused by the implementation of VAT, and the State Government hoped to minimise the loss this year.

He said that in view of the financial situation of the State, the allocation for irrigation in the budget was increased by 44 per cent. The priority was to complete 39 major and medium irrigation projects which were delayed. The Government was ready to increase the allocation for the Irrigation Department by Rs. 500 crore if there was shortage of funds, he added.

Scholarships

On the complaint that the scholarships for Scheduled Caste students were not being paid, Mr. Yediyurappa said this had come to his notice recently, and he had released Rs. 7.68 crore. He said the Government was committed to shifting people from 123 villages on the banks of the Krishna and Bhima rivers which were affected by floods last year. It would study the functioning of the Hyderabad Karnataka Development Board, he added.

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