The Congress government in Karnataka on Friday made good on all five guarantees that it had promised before the Assembly elections, within 12 days of taking charge.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D.K. Shivakumar announced that the guarantees would be implemented starting from July 11 when women, irrespective of financial status, will be able to ride free on all state transport and government city buses. The other schemes that offer up to 200 free units of electricity a month, Rs 2,000 for each woman head of family, 10 kilos of food grain and unemployment allowance, will be rolled out within weeks.
Women can travel anywhere within the state any number of times in non-AC and non-sleeper buses under the Uchitha Prayana scheme.
Under the Gruha Jyothi scheme, everyone in Karnataka, irrespective of tenants or owners of a dwelling unit, can avail themselves of 200 units of free electricity every month starting from the billing period of July 1 to August 1.
To prevent misuse through a sudden increase in consumption, the electricity authority will calculate a 10-month average and allow not more than a 10 per cent increase in the usage of units. “This has to be done to make sure someone who has been consuming only 50 units a month suddenly doesn’t increase his usage to 200 units,” Shivakumar said.
All women heads of families having both Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line ration cards will be paid Rs 2,000 a month starting Independence Day.
Registration for the scheme will open on July 15, after which the department concerned will take a month to process all applications and start payments through the direct benefit transfer mode.
“The only condition is that the woman head of family should be aged above 18. It is up to the respective families to decide who among the women is the head,” Siddaramaiah said.
This project covers even beneficiaries of social security schemes like old-age pension or widow pension. “Beneficiaries of any social security scheme can also apply for this,” Siddaramaiah clarified.
The Anna Bhagya scheme will provide 10kg of food grain to every member of a BPL family in a month. “While we had given 7 kilos, they (the previous BJP government) reduced it to 5 kilos. We are fulfilling our poll promise to increase it to 10 kilos,” the chief minister said.
Since food grains have already been despatched to PDS outlets for June, he said the new scheme would be launched on July 1. “This scheme will be available to everyone holding a BPL or Antyodaya card,” he said.
The unemployment allowance under the Yuva Nidhi scheme will be available to all graduates and diploma holders passing out in the 2022-23 academic year. The monthly allowance will be Rs 3,000 for each graduate and Rs 1,500 for every diploma holder, irrespective of gender, for up to 24 months or until they find a job in any sector, whichever is earlier.