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Congress Government's Assurances Goes through a tough Quality check
The guarantee schemes promised by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's Congress government are likely to be implemented in a phased manner.
Bengaluru: The guarantee schemes promised by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's Congress government are likely to be implemented in a phased manner. There has been much speculation about when these guarantees will come into effect, with people eagerly awaiting their enforcement since the Congress party secured a majority in the elections.
There is confusion among the public regarding the eligibility and conditions for these guarantees. To address these concerns, the state Congress government has instructed its officials to provide clarity and answers within a few days. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in constant meetings with ministers, is expected to announce positive news on Thursday. However, there are also some disappointing aspects to consider.
It is doubtful that all the guarantees will be implemented simultaneously by the state government. One guarantee made by Congress was free travel for women in government buses. It is likely that this guarantee will be implemented immediately, without the requirement of APL or BPL cards for women traveling on buses. Transport Minister Ramalingareddy has confirmed that all women will be able to travel for free on government buses.
During the elections, the Congress party promised to provide 10 kg of rice per month to every member of families with BPL cards. The state government is determined to fulfill this guarantee as soon as possible. Currently, the central government provides 5 kg of rice to each individual in BPL families, and the state government aims to supplement this with an additional 5 kg. The state government has requested the central government to provide rice at the current price, and if not, they will call for a tender to acquire the necessary rice. This approach will ensure the fulfillment of the 10 kg rice guarantee.
The Griha Lakshmi Yojana, which gained significant popularity during the Congress party's election campaign, promises a monthly allowance of Rs 2,000 for every housewife. However, the government has introduced certain conditions for this scheme. It has been clarified that the allowance will not be provided to all married women in a household solely based on their status as housewives. Instead, the mother-in-law will receive Rs 2,000, and if she agrees, the daughter-in-law will also be eligible for the allowance. Women and Child Welfare Department Minister Lakshmi Hebbalkar has stated that the honorarium will be granted accordingly.
The provision of free electricity up to 200 units is not as straightforward as initially announced, and the eligibility criteria for unemployment benefits are causing confusion among the youth. The government is currently assessing the financial implications of implementing all these free schemes. Department-wise data is being collected, and a step-by-step approach will be taken to execute these five projects. The government is exploring various sources of funding to ensure that the implementation of these guarantees does not adversely impact funds allocated for development works. A clearer picture of the financial plan will be available by the time the budget is presented in July, aligning with the government's goal of implementing the guarantee schemes.
The Griha Lakshmi, Griha Jyoti, Yuva Nidhi, Anna Bhagya, and Shakti Yojana guarantee schemes brought significant attention to the Congress party during the elections. However, after the government's formation, these projects have become a burden on the state's finances. To reduce the number of beneficiaries, the government has imposed several conditions. Nevertheless, these guarantees are designed to alleviate the burden on the government's exchequer. (eom)