First ensure the poor get rations, directs CM

First ensure the poor get rations, directs CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that officials should give priority to providing rations to the poor after which they should weed out bogus ration cards.

He made these observations on Monday in Bengaluru while reviewing drought relief work across Karnataka.

He wanted officials to take up relief work on war footing utilising state funds instead of waiting for funds from the Centre. Deputy commissioners and chief executive officers of zilla panchayats are in Bengaluru to attend the two-day review meeting.

He said nearly 1.08 lakh families are benefiting from the Anna Bhagya scheme. The food and civil supplies department is trying to remove bogus claimants and this is a welcome move. But the priority should be to identify the needy, he emphasised.

Siddaramaiah said the unit system adopted for distributing rations has deprived people of sufficient rations. “Many government schemes are not being properly implemented in certain districts. Taking bribes alone is not corruption. Even delay in execution of work amounts to corruption,” he added.

Pointing out that Karnataka was witnessing one of its worst droughts in the last 46 years, Siddaramaiah said the state government had sought Rs 4,702 crore from the Centre for drought relief works.

“The Centre sanctioned Rs 1,782 crore to the state but not a single paisa has been released till date. The Centre has been falsely blaming the state that grants released previously have not been utilised,” Siddaramaiah said.

Siddaramaiah said officials should clarify the factual position. “Why are you silent?” he asked officials.

The review meeting will continue on Tuesday.

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