Siddaramaiah, Old Pension Scheme (OPS) New Pension Scheme (NPS)
A file photo of Siddaramaiah.

Karnataka govt intensifies efforts to procure rice for Anna Bhagya scheme rollout

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday (June 24) said the state government has stepped up efforts to procure rice for the launch of ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme and has asked for the price quotation from government agencies like NCCF, Central Bhandar, and NAFED.

Speaking to the media in Bengaluru, the CM said they are exploring all the possibilities to procure 2.29 lakh metric tonnes of rice needed for the scheme, which is one of the five poll guarantees of the Congress government. He said that decision regarding the scheme and distribution will be made soon. He also revealed that a tender will be floated to procure rice in the open market.

Also read: Anna Bhagya Scheme rollout hangs in balance as Karnataka scrambles for rice

“As already mentioned, the Central government has refused to give rice with an intention to derail the scheme for the poor. They have tonnes of rice. They say they will auction it to private organisations, but not states. They are not willing to give us rice despite the fact that we are paying for it,” he said while lashing out at the Centre.

On his deliberations with small-scale industry representatives, the CM said they have raised their problems with him. He said that he has promised to review this after the budget presentation.

“The industrialists said the hike in power tariff has burdened them. Rate revision did not happen during our government. It was done during the previous BJP government. Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) revises the rate every year. KERC is an autonomous organisation, and our government has nothing to do with the rate hike,” he said.

The chief minister also said he would speak to those concerned about the proposal regarding the increase in milk price.

Also read: Power tariff hike decision taken before Congress came to power in Karnataka: Siddaramaiah

Reviewing preparations for the monsoon, Siddaramaiah said, “Monsoon has arrived in the state and rains are expected to become more widespread. Sowing has already started in some places. The government is capable of dealing with all problems in the state.”

He further said there is a problem with drinking water in some places. He has already called a meeting with the District Commissioners and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officers twice and given instructions, he added.

“The government is all set for sowing whenever it rains, and the agriculture department has a ready stock of seeds, fertilizers and medicines,” he said.

(With agency inputs)

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