CM announces loan waiver under Badavara Bandhu

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.  

₹200 crore set aside for COVID-19 management in State, says Yediyurappa

In the midst of economic difficulties faced by the State in the wake of economic slowdown, last year’s floods, and a Statewide lockdown now owing to COVID-19 outbreak, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday announced a slew measures, including waiver of loans under the Badavara Bandhu scheme, to provide relief to the poor.

In his reply to the debate on the State Budget, which was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Mr. Yeddiyurapa announced waiver of loans amounting ₹14.26 crore, benefiting 21,700 street vendors and small traders in urban areas, particularly in Bengaluru, who have been facing a severe hardship in the wake of Statewide lockdown following the spread of COVID-19. Vendors who took loans during 2018–19 and 2019–20 would benefit.

For COVID-19 mitigation

The Chief Minister informed the Legislative Assembly that ₹200 crore had been set aside to mitigate the impact of the spread of COVID-19 and steps had been taken to prevent the State from entering the third stage of the communicable disease.

He complimented the service of doctors, paramedicals staff, and others in handling COVID-19 cases. The Chief Minister said under the social security schemes, two months pensions would be given to beneficiaries such as aged women, widows, and physically challenged persons in advance at one go.

Similarly, Mr. Yeddiyurapa said ₹1,000 each would be given to 21 lakh construction workers who have been struggling to get work and wages owing to total lockdown. For the benefit of rural poor, he said, daily wages would also be given in advance for beneficiaries of MGNREGA.

Referring to social inclusiveness policy of the government, he said 2,624 acres of land costing ₹266 crore was granted to 1,942 landless SC/ST members during the last eight months. Each acre cost ₹45,000 to the State. During the Congress regime (2013–18), only 4,327 families had been given 5,799 acres costing ₹270 crore, the Chief Minister maintained.

Noting that 90% of the revenue goes to salaries, pensions, and subsidies for school midday meals and other schemes, the Chief Minister said a Cabinet sub-committee had been formed to study how to reduce the committed expenditure.

The size of the Budget had been kept at ₹2,37,893 crore, which is 1.6% larger than that for 2019–20. With a revenue surplus estimated at ₹143.32 crore, the fiscal deficit is expected to be ₹46,072 crore, which is 2.55% of the GSDP.

Breaking the convention of seeking a vote on account for the first four months of the financial year, the government tabled the Finance Bill and other related Bills, and passed the entire Budget for 2020–21.

The entire Opposition was absent during the Chief Minister’s reply to the debate on the Budget. The Congress boycotted the last day’s session opposing the government decision on passage of the entire Budget for 2020-21 and other Bills without adequate debate in the House. JD(S) members staged a walkout from the House when they did not get a reply on the debate on irregularities in Apex Bank.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:56:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cm-announces-loan-waiver-under-badavara-bandhu/article31157209.ece

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