Carving of 44 new taluks unlikely to take shape in budget

Carving of 44 new taluks unlikely to take shape in budget

The Revenue department, one of the most people-oriented, is unlikely to get its wish list cleared in the coming budget.

One of the major plans of the department is to keep its promise of forming 44 new taluks. And, another plan is to regularise the services of 10,000 gram sahayaks or village assistants.

The plan to form new taluks was not that of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, but that of his predecessor Jagadish Shettar. The decision has become a binding on the government as it has political connotations. Neither Siddaramaiah nor Revenue Minister Srinivas Prasad has ever ruled out formation of the new taluks.

Minister Prasad, in an interaction with the Deccan Herald, said that the formation of new taluks were discussed in the five to six pre-budget meetings he has held with the chief minister.

“But there are no indications whether the formation of taluks would be announced in the budget to be presented on Friday. The  reason could be attributed to the huge financial implications it would leave on the State’s Exchequer,” he added. He said the initial funds required for carving out a new taluk would be nearly Rs 25 crore. For the formation of a hobli, a minimum of Rs one crore is required, and the establishment of the revenue sub-division will cost Rs seven crore.

Funds crunch

“I suggested to the chief minister to explore the possibility of having 144 new hoblis. Even that may be difficult due to funds’ crunch. Anyway, the plans of having new taluks are not shelved,” he said.

Referring to another promise made by the government on regularising the services of gram sahayaks, the minister said that at present they were drawing Rs 7,000 as monthly remuneration.

“If they have to be brought under the ‘D’ group category, then the salary would be around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. The government would have to make a huge allocation if their services have to be regularised. The chief minister has not indicated his mind in this regard. But he has explained about the financial implications arising out of such decisions,” he said.

Asked whether pension under various social security schemes would see an upward revision, the minister replied in the negative. He said the grants for the Anthya Samskara Yojane (to conduct last rites) for the members of BPL families is now Rs 1,000. The plan is to increase it to Rs 5,000.

Regarding reforms in the department, Prasad said that the department is keen on introducing online registration of properties, on the lines of Maharashtra.

“The chief minister has said that a study has to be conducted to see whether it would not lead to revenue loss. May be some decisions would be taken after the budget,” he added.

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