Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday that free laptops cannot be given to pre-university students in the current fiscal year due to financial constraints. However, he said the proposal has not been dropped.
Speaking to reporters at his home office here, Siddaramaiah said that the Congress had promised to provide free laptops to pre-university students in its election manifesto and also in the Governor’s address to the joint session of the legislature.
“The government has not even completed one year. There are four years to go. We will fulfil all promises made, including providing free laptops, in the coming years in phases. There is no question of going back on any promise,” Siddaramaiah said.The chief minister said that it requires Rs 200 crore to provide free laptops.
Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar has also said that this year, it will not be possible to distribute the gadgets.
When reporters persistently asked him whether his government had given up the plans to distribute laptops and sanitary napkins to girls in high schools, he said that this year it would not be possible.
He said that there was no need to rush through the implementation of any scheme or plan. Programmes will be implemented only after making financial provisions so that they would be sustainable, he said.
Siddaramaiah ruled out immediate expansion or reshuffle of the State cabinet. “Any such exercise will be taken up only after the announcement of the results of the Lok Sabha polls,” the chief minister said.
Siddaramaiah said there was no shortage of funds to mitigate the drinking water problem during summer in the State.