With pressure mounting on the Congress government in Karnataka to implement the five 'guarantees' as promised to the people ahead of Assembly polls, State's Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge on Wednesday said criteria and frameworks are being decided for its implementation.
He said the criterion has to be fixed to implement the guarantees, as tax-payers money is involved.
In view of the implementation of five guarantee schemes, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is today holding a meeting with all the Ministers of his cabinet and senior officials of the concerned departments at Vidhana Soudha, the seat of state secretariat and legislature, here.
The decision on implementation of guarantees is likely to be taken at the cabinet meeting on Thursday.
"Every scheme is based on a criterion, it is your (public) money, tax payers money is involved. We will have to put criteria. Tell me which scheme of the central- Modi government is free?" Kharge asked.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, "there will be criteria and we will ensure that everyone is benefited. Is it wrong to give priority to BPL (below poverty line), the government is for the poor."
"How to implement Gruha Jyoti, Gruha Lakshmi, YuvaNidhi -- the criterion and framework will be decided by today and tomorrow, there is no need to worry," he added.
The Congress had promised to implement the guarantees' 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) (YuvaNidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti), on the very first day of assuming power in the state.
There is mounting pressure on the new government from opposition parties and various sections of people from across the state, to fulfill its five guarantees as promised ahead of polls.
Opposition BJP and JD(S) have accused the Congress of trying to "cheat" voters after coming to power by trying to attach conditions or criterion to the guarantees for their implementation, which were not mentioned ahead of polls.
Asked how the government will mobilise resources, the Minister said, "we will do it. First of all -- it is because of the central government and the double engine (BJP at both centre and state) government that was there -- our financial situation has worsened."
"Our GST share has not come, there was financial mismanagement during COVID-19, because of this Kannadigas are in debt today, I had raised this issue several times in the Assembly in the past," he said, now that our government has come, the priority will be to give financial stability to the state and its people.
After having accorded in-principal approval for the guarantees in the first cabinet meeting on May 20, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said they would "most likely" be implemented after the next Cabinet meeting. He had also said that initial estimates indicate it would cost the exchequer Rs 50,000 crore annually.
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