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Karnataka govt announces Rs 1,250-crore Covid relief package

yedyurappa Begaluru : The Karnataka government has announced a Covid relief package of Rs 1,250 crore for farmers, auto and cab drivers, construction workers, artistes and various workers in the unorganised sector.

This comes at a time when a lockdown is underway in the state to prevent the virus from spreading and opposition parties have been calling for relief measures for those whose livelihoods have been affected by the restrictions.

On Wednesday, after chairing a high-level meeting with senior officials and cabinet ministers, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced the relief package.

1. Rs 10,000 relief will be given to growers for per hectare loss. It will benefit about 20,000 farmers and may cost Rs 12.73 crore.

2. Rs 10,000 per hectare financial relief will be given to fruit and vegetable growers, limiting it to one hectare. This will benefit about 69,000 farmers and may cost Rs 69 crore, said Karnataka CM.

3. Rs 3,000 each relief will be given to auto, taxi and maxi cab drivers who have licence and have registration. This will benefit about 2.10 lakh beneficiaries and can cost around Rs 63 crore.

4. Rs 3,000 each for labourers who have registered with Karnataka Building And Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. It will cost the state around Rs 494 crore.

5. Rs 2,000 each will be given to those under unorganised sector like barbers, washermen, tailor, porters, ragpickers, potters, goldsmiths, mechanics, blacksmith, household workers, cobblers, among others, benefiting 3.04 lakh people, and will cost about Rs 60.89 crore.

6. Roadside vendors, those registered under Aatma Nirbhar package to be given Rs 2,000 each, he said, adding that it will benefit about 2.20 lakh people and cost Rs 44 crore.

7. Artists and art teams will be given Rs 3,000 each, benefiting 16,095 beneficiaries and will cost Rs 4.82 crore.

8. Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 5 kg rice will be provided.

Announcing the relief package, Karnataka CM Yediyurappa told reporters, “Our government had given financial packages to various sectors during the COVID first wave.”

“Despite that, as the current restrictions have affected the livelihood of those with unorganised sector and farmers, to mitigate its impact we are announcing a relief programme of more than Rs 1,250 crore,” PTI quoted him as saying.

Karnataka imposed a complete lockdown till May 24, as the COVID-19 cases continued to spike. The CM said a decision will be taken on extending the current lockdown soon.