Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah introduced five guarantee schemes to promote social justice and reduce wealth inequality in the state.
These schemes include free trips for women, free electricity, rice distribution, financial assistance for women heads of households, and unemployment allowances for graduates.
Siddaramaiah also criticized the lesser share of GST tax returns to the state and announced plans to expand the Metro train network in Bengaluru.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar present a trophy to the best dance performer during the 77th Independence Day celebration at Manekshaw Parade Ground, in Bengaluru.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that the five guarantee schemes of his government were introduced to follow the principle of social justice in the accumulation of wealth and its distribution.
On the occasion of the 77th Independence Day, the chief minister hoisted the national flag at Bengaluru’s Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground.
During his first Independence Day speech as Karnataka’s chief minister after his party’s win in the 2023 elections, Siddaramaiah said that Karnataka realized that development can only be possible if there is peace in society.
Explaining the reason behind introducing the five guarantee schemes, he said due to neo-liberalism, the gap between haves and have-nots started widening. In India, today, 10% of people control 70% of our resources, he said.
“This is the idea behind the introduction of five guarantee schemes such as Shakti, Gruha Jyothi, Anna Bhagya, Gruha Lakshmi, and Yuva Nidhi.
We strongly believe in the premise of economist Amartya Sen that ‘development is the real freedom’ and hence have introduced the five guarantee schemes,” he added.
“During the colonial era, the British rulers plundered the country but now the resources are getting accumulated with a few capitalists.
In this situation can development be possible?” he said, adding, “Keeping this in mind, we are following the principles of social justice in the accumulation of wealth and its distribution.
Hence, we introduced the five guarantees.”
The chief minister said that the five guarantees are founded on Universal Basic Income to elevate the socio-economic position of the people.
“Under the Shakti scheme, ₹38.54 crore free trips for women have been covered so far in bus corporations.
Under Gruha Jyothi 1.49 crore people have enrolled and availed free electricity.
The government is spending Rs. 13910 crores annually.
Under Anna Bhagya 5 kg of rice is being given and money for the remaining 5 kg is disbursed.
1.04 crore families benefited,” Siddaramaiah said.
Under the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, Siddaramaiah said that Rs. 2000 monthly financial assistance will be transferred to the accounts of women who are heads of their households.
About 1.08 crore beneficiaries have already enrolled for the benefit. “Under the Yuva Nidhi scheme, the government will provide an unemployment allowance of Rs. 3000 per month to unemployed graduates and Rs. 1500 per month for diploma pass-outs until they get a job or for a maximum of 2 years.
1.30 crores poor families will benefit from the schemes,” he added.
Siddaramaiah also objected to the lesser share of returns to the state in terms of GST tax. “Karnataka is the second highest tax-paying state in the country.
We are paying over ₹4 lakh crore in the form of taxes and duties to the Centre.
However, we are getting just ₹50,000 crore in return from the Centre. Karnataka will be the richest state if we get what actually we deserve naturally.
Despite this challenging situation, we are complying with fiscal discipline.
We are committed to a comprehensive development of the state.”
Siddaramaiah also announced that the Nagasandra to Madavara expansion on the Green Line, and R V Road to Bommanahalli on the new Yellow Line will be operational by December.
The total stretch of the Metro train network will increase to 175.55 km in the city from the existing 69.66 km network, he said.
“We are mooting the ‘Brand Bengaluru’ initiative. The objective is to transform Bengaluru to international standards.
Much focus has been laid on ensuring smooth traffic flow, management of solid waste, proper utilization of public places, proper health of livestock and people, the introduction of people-friendly e-administration, water security, and management of challenges arising out of natural calamities,” the chief minister said.