Karnataka : Lockdown affected helping special economic package of Rs 1,610 crores

9:23 PM, Wednesday, May 6th, 2020
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yeddiyurappaBengaluru : Moving swiftly to kickstart economic activity in the state, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced a slew of measures as part of a special economic package of Rs 1,610 crore aimed at helping those affected by the lockdown including containing the spread of COVID-19.

While reverse migration was turning into an issue across the country with lakhs of migrant workers looking forward to returning ‘home’ even in the middle of the pandemic, leaving labour-intensive sectors distraught, Karnataka has pioneered efforts to ensure they stay put.

CM Yediyurappa has announced a direct benefit transfer (DBT) of Rs 5,000 each to the registered building workers in the state.

At a press conference today, Yediyurappa announced a transfer of an additional Rs 3,000 through DBT to around 15.8 lakh registered building workers in the state. The state has already given Rs 2,000.

“Government has already transferred Rs. 2,000 to the bank accounts of 11.80 lakh building workers through DBT. Action has already been initiated to transfer Rs. 2,000 to the accounts of the remaining 4 lakh construction workers soon after verifying beneficiaries’ bank account details,” said Yediyurappa.

The state had put earlier today on hold the inter-state trains that had been announced earlier with the CM assuring that there was no need for these migrants to return to their home states.

Labour department secretary Captain Manivannan was also reported saying the labourers can now return only once the lockdown is completely lifted and that the state would take care of the migrant labourers.

The announcement of suspension of trains came after the chief minister had a meeting with the builders in Bengaluru to discuss the issue of migrant labour yesterday.

Builders had assured that the labourers were being provided all essential facilities and that construction activity in the state had restarted.

In a bid to prevent “unnecessary travel of migrant workers” , directions were given to the concerned ministers to convince the labourers to refrain from returning to their home states.

The state government also suspended the Seva Sindhu app, in a bid to retain its workforce.

The app was launched just prior to Karnataka entering Lockdown 3.0 to facilitate the return of migrant labour.

Seeking to address the distress of other sections who have been financially hit during the lockdown, CM Yediyurappa announced a compensation of Rs.25,000 per hectare limited to flower growers who have suffered crop loss.

CM Yediyurappa also announced a special package for fruit and vegetable farmers who could not market their produce and had suffered losses.

One-time compensation of Rs.5,000 each to about 60,000 washer men (dhobis) and about 230,000 barbers was also announced.

Around 7,75,000 auto and taxi drivers whose income had been hit during the lockdown will be given a one time compensation of Rs.5,000 each.

CM Yediyurappa also announced a new scheme “Weaver Samman Yojana” (Nekarara Sammana yojane) for the benefit of weavers.

Under this scheme, Rs.2,000 will be directly debited to the bank accounts of the 54,000 handloom weaver in the state.

As far as industry is concerned, the Chief Minister waived off the monthly fixed charges of electricity bills of MSMEs for two months, while deferring the payment of fixed charges in the electricity bills of large industries without penalty and interest for a period of two months.

With regard to electricity bill payment, the Chief Minister has assured that electricity connections will not be disconnected till 30-06-2020 for consumers who have not paid the balance amount of bill, but the ones who have already paid the bills will be given incentives.

The interest on the deferred amount of bills will also be reduced.


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