'State lags behind in Central schemes'

Union Minister for Labour Mallikarjuna Kharge has voiced concern over the State government’s laxity in clearing the ‘red tape’ for the Centre-sponsored schemes. 

He hoped that the State would utilise Rs 4,000 crore allocated for uplift of its labour force. 

He was addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESI) Hospital in Peenya Industrial area on Monday. Thanking the State government’s ‘certificate’ of appreciation given by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the Union Labour Minister, in a lighter vein, said having a ‘stable’ government in the State was necessary for the good of the people.

“I hope no one in the present government tries to dethrone Gowda. It is imperative for the State to have a stable government to reap the benefits of the Centre’s funds,” he said. 

Listing out the achievements of his tenure as the Union Labour Minister, Kharge said his ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US to create a skilled labour force, safety of workers in the mining industry and to minimise occupational hazards. 

In the Union Budget 2012-13, the Labour Ministry will be allocated double the funds provided in the current fiscal, he said.

The Ministry, jointly with the State government, will start two new hospitals in Bangalore, the minister said.

“While a 100-bed hospital  at a cost of Rs 100 crore will be constructed in Doddaballapur, another hospital will commence  in Bommasandra Industrial Town. The Bommasandra hospital will have 200 beds  at a cost of Rs 300 crore,” he said.

Kharge criticised the State government for spending only Rs 70 crore on the Rashtriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana for workers, as opposed to the allocation of Rs 1,070 crore made by the Centre for the scheme. “While 75 per cent of the financial burden is borne by the Centre, the State has to provide only 25 per cent,” he said. State Labour Minister  Bacchegowda said the government would extend the coverage under the Yojana to 25 lakh people by March this year and 45 lakh by February 2013.

All for the poor

The 150th Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospital inaugurated on Monday, truly marks an achievement for the Union Labour Ministry and the State Labour Department as it is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for the BPL families.

With facilities that can match the best of the private hospitals, the Peenya hospital was built in two years at a cost of Rs 108 crore. 

The Labour Ministry will launch ‘pehchan card’ for the labour force to get treatment at any ESIC hospital in the country. The Ministry will also start a new hospital exclusively for beedi workers in Mandya.

In the State, the Government intends to increase the manpower for the ESIC hospitals by hiring 190 new doctors, said Bacchegowda. 

The ESIC will also help children of the workers who wish to study medicine. Progress has been made over the setting up of a medical college, dental college and a nursing college in Gulbarga at a cost of Rs 923 crore. 

A Paramedical and Allied Health Sciences Institute has also been set up in Gulbarga at a cost of Rs 429.89 crore. 

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