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Karnataka announces Rs 1,610 cr worth relief package for flower growers, weavers, barbers, auto and taxi drivers

The flower growers were forced to destroy their flowers following lack of demand for their produce due to the lockdown. 

May 6, 2020 16:48 IST
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The Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on May 6, 2020 announced a Rs 1610 crore worth relief package for all those in distress due to the national lockdown such as farmers, flower-growers, construction workers, weavers, auto and taxi drivers.

The Karnataka CM assured that all those who have incurred losses due to the lockdown will be compensated. The flower growers were forced to destroy their flowers following lack of demand for their produce due to the lockdown. According to estimates, the flower farmers cultivated flowers in about 11,687 hectares of land.

To compensate for the loss, the state government is expected to provide a compensation amount worth Rs 25000 per hectare to the flower growers. The state has also launched Naikar Samaan Yojana to provide financial assistance to the weavers.

Karnataka’s relief package: Key Details

The state government will provide one-time compensation worth Rs 5000 each to all the service professionals including auto drivers, taxi drivers, barbers, washermen and construction workers. There are about 60,000 washermen, 2,30,000 barbers and 7,75,000 auto and taxi drivers in the state. 

The state has also decided to waive off the monthly fixed electricity charges for the MSMEs for two months. Karnataka CM Yediyurappa said that the MSMEs have suffered huge production losses due to the lockdown and it will take some time for them to revive. 

The payment of fixed electricity charges of the large industries will alos be deferred without penalty and interest for two months. The state also announced certain benefits for electricity consumers of all categories.

The state had also previously announced a Rs 109 crore weavers loan Waiver scheme, of which Rs 29 crore has been released during 2019-20. The remaining amount worth Rs 80 crore will be released immediately. This would benefit the weavers to get fresh loans to continue their occupation.

The state government has also launched a new scheme, Naikar Samaan Yojana for the benefit of the weavers. Under the scheme, the state will deposit Rs 2,000 directly into the bank account of the handloom weavers through direct benefit transfer. The scheme is expected to benefit around 54,000 handloom weavers in the state.

The state has also announced a compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare limited to a maximum extent of one hectare for the crop loss of the flower growers.

The state will also announce a relief package to compensate the fruit and vegetable farmers, who were not able to market their produce. 

For building workers, the state has already Rs 2,000 to the bank account of 11.80 lakh building workers through DBT. The state has initiated the transfer of the amount to the accounts of the remaining four lakh construction workers. There are at least 15.80 lakh registered building workers in Karnataka.

The government has also decided to transfer an additional amount worth Rs 3,000 to building workers through DBT

Migrant workers/ Stranded people

The state government is also making efforts to ensure the welfare of all the stranded migrants and labourers. The state is trying to convince the migrant labourers to stay back in Bengaluru, around 6000 construction workers from Bihar were convinced to stay back.

The state has ensured the supply of food grains to stranded migrants and labourers. The state is also providing medical care to those who are not well among them.

Background 

The Karnataka state government has announced the new relief package to lessen the distress of the workers in the state. The state’s Chief Minister noted that people from all sections of society are facing financial difficulties due to the lockdown of more than one and a half months.

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