Bringing an end to the speculation over the implementation of pre-poll ‘guarantees ‘ in the Congress manifesto, the State Cabinet on Friday decided to implement all five guarantees during this financial year, starting with Shakti — the scheme for free travel for women — that will be launched on June 11.
The Congress government was under pressure from the Opposition parties over the implementation of its guarantees that had received in-principle approval from the first cabinet on May 19, the day the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took oath of office along with nine Cabinet Ministers, including the Deputy Chief Minister.
As per the post-Cabinet meeting announcement by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday (June 2), while Shakti will be launched on June 11, the Anna Bhagya scheme of 10 kgs free foodgrain per head for BPL and Antyodaya card holders families and the Gruha Jyothi scheme of 200 units of free power will be launched on July 1. While the window of registration for ₹2,000 monthly incentive under Gruha Lakshmi will be launched on June 15, the government will start transferring the money from August 15 on the occasion of Independence Day. Though broader contours of Yuva Nidhi, the unemployment benefits were announced, no time frame has been fixed for application.
“All the five guarantees will be implemented this financial year. We will reach our guarantees to persons of all castes, communities and linguistic groups in Karnataka,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said in a media briefing on Friday. He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar along with a host of Cabinet colleagues.
The Karnataka Chief Minister said, “The government has taken utmost care to avoid misuse of the facilities being extended and the misuse of funds while implementing these five guarantees for the benefit of the poor and middle class.”
When his attention was drawn towards criticism from the Opposition over the delay in implementing guarantees, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “We implemented 158 promises out of 165 made in the previous term. The BJP did not honour even half of 600 promises made. What moral right do they have to ask?”
Asked about the total expenditure for implementing the five ‘guarantees’, the Chief Minister was non-committal, and said, “I will speak about the details and cost later.”